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He was a very perfect gentle Knight 



The busy period of the great Civil War was one in which 
the character and genius of different parties were most 
brilliantly displayed, and, accordingly, the incidents 
which took place on either side were of a striking and 
extraordinary character, and afforded ample foundation 
for fictitious composition. The Author had in some 
measure attempted such in Peveril of the Peak ; but the 
scene was in a remote part of the kingdom, and mingled 
with other national differences, which left him still at 
liberty to glean another harvest out of so ample a store. 

In these circumstances, some wonderful adventures 
which happened at Woodstock in the year 1649 occurred 
to him as something he had long ago read of, although 
he was unable to tell where, and of which the hint ap- 
peared sufficient, although, doubtless, it might have 
been much better handled if the Author had not, in the 
lapse of time, lost everything like an accurate recollec- 
tion of the real story. 

It was not until about this period, namely, 1831, that 
the Author, being called upon to write this Introduc- 
tion, obtained a general account of what really happened 
upon the marvellous occasion in question, in a work 
termed The Every-day Book, published by Mr. Hone, 
and full of curious antiquarian research, the object being 
to give a variety of original information concerning 
manners, illustrated by curious instances, rarely to be 
found elsewhere. Among other matter, Mr. Hone quotes 
an article from the British Magazine for 1747, in the fol- 



lowing words, and which is probably the document 
which the Author of Woodstock had formerly perused, 
although he was unable to refer to the source of his in- 
formation. The tract is entitled, The Genuine History 
of tJie Good Devil of Woodstock, Famous in the World in 
the Year 1649, and never accounted for , or at all understood 
to this Time. 

The teller of this "genuine history" proceeds verba- 
tim as follows: — 

'Some original papers having lately fallen into my 
hands, under the name of Authentic Memoirs of the 
Memorable Joseph Collins of Oxford, commonly known by 
the Name of Funny Joe, and now intended for the Press, 
I was extremely delighted to find in them a circumstan- 
tial and unquestionable account of the most famous of 
all invisible agents, so well known in the year 1649, under 
the name of the Good Devil of Woodstock, and even 
adored by the people of that place, for the vexation and 
distress it occasioned some people they were not much 
pleased with. As this famous story, though related by a 
thousand people, and attested in all its circumstances, 
beyond all possibility of doubt, by people of rank, learn- 
ing, and reputation, of Oxford and the adjacent towns, 
has never yet been generally accounted for, or at all 
understood, and is perfectly explained, in a manner 
that can admit of no doubt, in these papers, I could not 
refuse my readers their share of the pleasure it gave me 
in reading.' 

There is, therefore, no doubt that, in the year 1649, a 
number of incidents, supposed to be supernatural, took 
place at the king's palace of Woodstock, which the Com- 
missioners of Parliament were then and there endeavour- 


ing to dilapidate and destroy. The account of this by 
the Commissioners themselves, or under their authority, 
was repeatedly published, and, in particular, is inserted 
as Relation Sixth of Satan's Invisible World Discovered, 
by George Sinclair, Professor of Philosophy in Glasgow, 
an approved collector of such tales. 

It was the object of neither of the great political par- 
ties of that day to discredit this narrative, which gave 
great satisfaction both to the Cavaliers and Round- 
heads; the former conceiving that the license given to 
the demons was in consequence of the impious desecra- 
tion of the king's furniture and apartments, so that the 
citizens of Woodstock almost adored the supposed spirits, 
as avengers of the cause of royalty; while the friends of 
the Parliament, on the other hand, imputed to the 
malice of the fiend the obstruction of the pious work, 
as they judged that which they had in hand. 

At the risk of prolonging a curious quotation, I include 
a page or two from Mr. Hone's Every-day Book. 

'The honourable the Commissioners arrived at Wood- 
stock manor-house, October 13th, and took up their 
residence in the King's own rooms. His Majesty's bed- 
chamber they made their kitchen, the council-hall their 
pantry, and the presence-chamber was the place where 
they sat for dispatch of business. His Majesty's dining- 
room they made their wood-yard, and stowed it with no 
other wood but that of the famous Royal Oak from the 
High Park, which, that nothing might be left with the 
name of the King about it, they had dug up by the roots, 
and bundled up into faggots for their firing. 

'October 16. — This day they first sat for the dispatch 



of business. In the midst of their first debate there en- 
tered a large black dog, (as they thought,) which made a 
terrible howling, overturned two or three of their chairs, 
and doing some other damage, went under the bed, and 
there gnawed the cords. The door this while continued 
constantly shut, when, after some two or three hours, 
Giles Sharp, their secretary, looking under the bed, per- 
ceived that the creature was vanished, and that a plate 
of meat that the servants had hid there was untouched, 
and showing them to their honours, they were all con- 
vinced there could be no real dog concerned in the case; 
the said Giles also deposed on oath, that, to his certain 
knowledge, there was not. 

^October 17. — As they were this day sitting at dinner 
in a lower room, they heard plainly the noise of persons 
walking over head, though they well knew the doors 
were all locked, and there could be none there. Presently 
after they heard also all the wood of the King's Oak 
brought by parcels from the dining-room, and thrown 
with great violence into the presence-chamber, as also 
the chairs, stools, tables, and other furniture, forcibly 
hurled about the room, their own papers of the minutes 
of their transactions torn, and the ink-glass broken. 
When all this had some time ceased, the said Giles pro- 
posed to enter first into these rooms, and, in presence of 
the Commissioners, of whom he received the key, he 
opened the door, and entered the room, their honours 
following him. He there found the wood strewed about 
the room, the chairs tossed about and broken, the papers 
torn, and the ink-glass broken over them all as they had 
heard, yet no footsteps appeared of any person whatever 
being there, nor had the doors ever been opened to admit 



or let out any persons since their honours were last there. 
It was therefore voted, nem. con., that the person who 
did this mischief could have entered no other way than 
at the key-hole of the said doors. 

* In the night following this same day, the said Giles, 
and two other of the Commissioners' servants, as they 
were in bed in the same room with their honours, had 
their bed's feet lifted up so much higher than their heads 
that they expected to have their necks broken, and then 
they were let fall at once with such violence as shook 
them up from the bed to a good distance ; and this was 
repeated many times, their honours being amazed 
spectators of it. In the morning the bedsteads were 
found cracked and broken, and the said Giles and his 
fellows declared they were sore to the bones with the 
tossing and jolting of the beds. 

^October 19. — As they were all in bed together, the 
candles were all blown out together with a sulphurous 
smell, and instantly many trenchers of wood were 
hurled about the room; and one of them, putting his 
head above the clothes, had not less than six thrown at 
him, which wounded him very grievously. In the morn- 
ing the trenchers were all found lying about the room, 
and were observed to be the same they had eaten on the 
day before, none being found remaining in the pantry. 

^October 20. — This night the candles were put out 
as before; the curtains of the bed in which their honours 
lay were drawn to and fro many times with great vio- 
lence ; their honours received many cruel blows, and were 
much bruised beside, with eight great pewter dishes, and 
three dozen wooden trenchers, which were thrown on 
the bed, and afterwards heard rolling about the room. 



'Many times also this night they heard the forcible 
falling of many faggots by their bedside, but in the 
morning no faggots were found there, no dishes or 
trenchers were there seen either; and the aforesaid Giles 
attests, that by their different arranging in the pantry, 
they had assuredly been taken thence, and after put 
there again. 

*■ October 21. — The keeper of their ordinary and his 
bitch lay with them. This night they had no disturbance. 

^October 22. — Candles put out as before. They had 
the said bitch with them again, but were not by that 
protected : the bitch set up a very piteous cry ; the clothes 
of their beds were all pulled off; and the bricks, without 
any wind, were thrown off the chimney tops into the 

^October 24. — The candles put out as before. They 
thought all the wood of the King's Oak was violently 
thrown down by their bedsides; they counted sixty-four 
faggots that fell with great violence, and some hit and 
shook the bed ; but in the morning none were found there, 
nor the door of the room opened in which the said fag- 
gots were. 

'October 25. — The candles put out as before. The 
curtains of the bed in the drawing-room were many 
times forcibly drawn; the wood thrown out as before; a 
terrible crack like thunder was heard; and one of the 
servants, running to see if his master was not killed, 
found at his return three dozen trenchers laid smoothly 
upon his bed under the quilt. 

'October 26. — The beds were shaken as before; the 
windows seemed all broken to pieces, and glass fell in vast 
quantities all about the room. In the morning they 



found the windows all whole, but the floor strewed with 
broken glass, which they gathered and laid by. 

^October 29. — At midnight candles went out as before; 
something walked majestically through the room, and 
opened and shut the window ; great stones were thrown 
violently into the room, some whereof fell on the beds, 
others on the floor; and about a quarter after one, a 
noise was heard as of forty cannon discharged together, 
and again repeated at about eight minutes' distance. 
This alarmed and raised all the neighbourhood, who, 
coming into their honours' room, gathered up the great 
stones, fourscore in number, many of them like common 
pebbles and boulters, and laid them by, where they are 
to be seen to this day, at a corner of the adjoining field. 
This noise, like the discharge of cannon, was heard 
throughout the country for sixteen miles round. During 
these noises, which were heard in both rooms together, 
both the Commissioners and their servants gave one an- 
other over for lost, and cried out for help; and Giles 
Sharp, snatching up a sword, had well nigh killed one 
of their honours, taking him for the spirit as he came in 
his shirt into the room. While they were together, the 
noise was continued, and part of the tiling of the house, 
and all the windows of an upper room, were taken away 
with it. 

' October 30. — Something walked into the chamber, 
treading like a bear; it walked many times about, then 
threw the warming-pan violently upon the floor, and 
so bruised it that it was spoiled. Vast quantities of glass 
were now thrown about the room, and vast numbers of 
great stones and horses' bones were thrown in; these 
were all found in the morning, and the floors, beds, and 


walls were all much damaged by the violence they were 
thrown in. 

' November i. — Candles were placed in all parts of the 
room, and a great fire made. At midnight, the candles 
all yet burning, a noise like the burst of a cannon was 
heard in the room, and the burning billets were tossed 
all over the room and about the beds; and had not their 
honours called in Giles and his fellows, the house had 
assuredly been burnt. An hour after the candles went 
out, as usual, the clack of many carmon was heard, and 
many pailfuls of green stinking water were thrown on 
their honours in bed ; great stones were also thrown in as 
before, the bed-curtains and bedsteads torn and broken; 
the windows were now all really broken, and the whole 
neighbourhood alarmed with the noises; nay, the very 
rabbit-stealers that were abroad that night in the warren 
were so frightened at the dismal thundering, that they 
fled for fear, and left their ferrets behind them. 

' One of their honours this night spoke, and in the name 
of God asked what it was, and why it disturbed them so? 
No answer was given to this; but the noise ceased for a 
while, when the spirit came again, and as they all 
agreed, brought with it seven devils worse than itself. 
One of the servants now lighted a large candle, and set 
it in the doorway between the two chambers, to see 
what passed; and as he^ watched it, he plainly saw a 
hoof striking the candle and candlestick into the middle 
of the room, and afterwards making three scrapes over 
the snuff of the candle, to scrape it out. Upon this, the 
same person was so bold as to draw a sword; but he had 

* Probably this part was also played by Sharp, who was the regular 
ghost-seer of the parly. 



scarce got it out, when he perceived another invisible 
hand had hold of it too, and pulled with him for it, and, 
at length prevailing, struck him so violently on the 
head with the pommel, that he fell down for dead with 
the blow. At this instant was heard another burst like 
the discharge of the broadside of a ship of war, and at 
about a minute or two's distance each, no less than 
nineteen more such; these shook the house so violently, 
that they expected every moment it would fall upon their 
heads. The neighbours on this were all alarmed, and, 
running to the house, they all joined in prayer and 
psalm-singing, during which the noise continued in the 
other rooms, and the discharge of cannon without, 
though nobody was there.' 

Dr. Plot concludes his relation of this memorable 
event ^ with observing that, though tricks have often 
been played in affairs of this kind, many of these things 
are not reconcilable with juggling; such as, ist, The loud 
noises beyond the power of man to make, without instru- 
ments which were not there; 2d, The tearing and break- 
ing of the beds; 3d, The throwing about the fire; 4th, 
The hoof treading out the candle; and 5th, The striving 
for the sword, and the blow the man received from the 
pommel of it. 

To show how great men are sometimes deceived, we 
may recur to a tract entitled The Secret History of the 
Good Devil of Woodstock, in which we find it, under the 
author's own hand, that he, Joseph Collins, commonly 
called Funny Joe, was himself this very devil ; — that, 
under the feigned name of Giles Sharp, he hired himself 
as a servant to the Commissioners ; that, by the help of 

* In his Natural History of Oxfordshire. 


two friends — an unknown trap-door in the ceiling of the 
bedchamber and a pound of common gunpowder — he 
played all these extraordinary tricks by himself; that 
his fellow-servants, whom he had introduced on purpose 
to assist him, had lifted up their own beds; and that the 
candles were contrived, by a common trick of gunpow- 
der, to be extinguished at a certain time. 

The dog who began the farce was, as Joe swore, no 
dog at all, but truly a bitch, who had shortly before 
whelped in that room, and made all this disturbance 
in seeking for her puppies; and which, when she had 
served his purpose, he (Joe Sharp, or Collins) let out, 
and then looked for. The story of the hoof and sword he 
himself bore witness to, and was never suspected as to 
the truth of them, though mere fictions. By the trap- 
door his friends let down stones, faggots, glass, water, 
etc., which they either left there or drew up again, as 
best suited his purpose ; and by this way let themselves 
in and out, without opening the doors, or going through 
the key-holes; and all the noises described, he declares 
he made by placing quantities of white gunpowder over 
pieces of burning charcoal, on plates of tin, which, as 
they melted, exploded with a violent noise. 

I am very happy in having an opportunity of setting 
history right about these remarkable events, and would 
not have the reader disbelieve my author's account of 
them, from his naming either white gunpowder explod- 
ing when melted, or his making the earth about the pot 
take fire of its own accord; since, however improbable 
these accounts may appear to some readers, and what- 
ever secrets they might be in Joe's time, they are now 
well known in chemistry. As to the last, there needs 



only to mix an equal quantity of iron filings, finely pow- 
dered, and powder of pure brimstone, and make them 
into a paste with fair water. This paste, when it hath 
lain together about twenty-six hours, wUl of itself take 
fire, and burn all the sulphur away with a blue flame and 
a bad smell. For the others, what he calls white gun- 
powder is plainly the thundering powder called by our 
chemists pulvis fulminans. It is composed of three parts 
of saltpetre, two parts of pearl ashes or salt of tartar, 
and one part of flower of brimstone, mixed together and 
beat to a fine powder ; a small quantity of this held on 
the point of a knife over a candle will not go off till it 
melt, and then it gives a report like that of a pistol; and 
this he might easily dispose of in larger quantities, so 
as to make it explode of itself, while he, the said Joe, was 
with his masters. 

Such is the explanation of the ghostly adventures of 
Woodstock, as transferred by Mr. Hone from the pages 
of the old tract termed the Authentic Memoirs of the 
Memorable Joseph Collins of Oxford, whose courage and 
loyalty were the only wizards which conjured up those 
strange and surprising apparitions and works of spirits 
which passed as so unquestionable in the eyes of the 
Parliamentary Commissioners, of Dr. Plot, and other 
authors of credit. The pulvis fulminans, the secret prin- 
ciple he made use of, is now known to every apothecary's 

If my memory be not treacherous, the actor of these 
wonders made use of his skill in fireworks upon the fol- 
lowing remarkable occasion. The Commissioners had 
not, in their zeal for the public service, overlooked their 



own private interests, and a deed was drawn up upon 
parchment, recording the share and nature of the advan- 
tages which they privately agreed to concede to each 
other; at the same time they were, it seems, loth to en- 
trust to any one of their number the keeping of a docu- 
ment in which all were equally concerned. They hid the 
written agreement within a flower-pot, in which a shrub 
concealed it from the eyes of any chance spectator. But 
the rumour of the apparitions having gone abroad, 
curiosity drew many of the neighbours to Woodstock, 
and some in particular to whom the knowledge of this 
agreement would have afforded matter of scandal. As 
the Commissioners received these guests in the saloon 
where the flower-pot was placed, a match was suddenly 
set to some fireworks placed there by Sharp, the secre- 
tary. The flower-pot burst to pieces with the concus- 
sion, or was prepared so as to explode of itself, and the 
contract of the Commissioners, bearing testimony to 
their private roguery, was thrown into the midst of the 
visitors assembled. If I have recollected this incident 
accurately, for it is more than forty years since I perused 
the tract, it is probable that, in omitting it from the 
novel, I may also have passed over, from want of mem- 
ory, other matters which might have made an essential 
addition to the story. Nothing, indeed, is more certain 
than that incidents which are real preserve an infinite 
advantage in works of this nature over such as are ficti- 
tious. The tree, however, must remain where it has 

Having occasion to be in London in October, 1831, I 
made some researches in the British Museum, and in 
that rich collection, with the kind assistance of the 



keepers, who manage it with so much credit to them- 
selves and advantage to the public, I recovered two 
original pamphlets, which contain a full account of the 
phenomena at Woodstock in 1649.^ The first is a satiri- 
cal poem, published in that year, which plainly shows 
that the legend was current among the people in the very 
shape in which it was afterwards made public. I have 
not found the explanation of Joe Collins, which, as men- 
tioned by Mr. Hone, resolves the whole into confeder- 
acy. It might, however, be recovered by a stricter 
search than I had leisure for. ^ In the mean time, it may 
be observed, that neither the name of Joe Collins nor 
Sharp occurs among the dramatis persona given in these 
tracts published when he might have been endangered 
by anything which directed suspicion towards him, at 
least in 1649, ^-nd perhaps might have exposed him to 
danger even in 1660, from the malice of a powerful 
though defeated faction. 

xst August, 1832. 

* See Appendix. 


It is not my purpose to inform my readers how the 
manuscripts of that eminent antiquary, the Rev. J. A. 
Rocheclifife, D.D., came into my possession. There are 
many ways in which such things happen, and it is enough 
to say they were rescued from an unworthy fate, and 
that they were honestly come by. As for the authentic- 
ity of the anecdotes which I have gleaned from the writ- 
ings of this excellent person, and put together with my 
own unrivalled facility, the name of Dr. Rochecliffe will 
warrant accuracy, wherever that name happens to be 

With his history the reading part of the world are 
well acquainted; and we might refer the tyro to honest 
Anthony a Wood, who looked up to him as one of the 
pillars of High Church, and bestows on him an exemplary 
character in the Athen<z Oxonienses, although the Doc- 
tor was educated at Cambridge, England's other eye. 

It is well known that Dr. Rochecliffe early obtained 
preferment in the church, on account of the spirited share 
which he took in the controversy with the Puritans; and 
that his work, entitled Malleus HcBresis, was considered 
as a knockdown blow by all except those who received it. 
It was that work which made him, at the early age of 
thirty, rector of Woodstock, and which afterwards se- 
cured him a place in the catalogue of the celebrated 
Century White; and, worse than being shown up by that 
fanatic, among the catalogues of scandalous and malig- 
nant priests admitted into benefices by the prelates, his 



opinions occasioned the loss of his living of Woodstock 
by the ascendency of presbytery. He was chaplain, 
during most part of the Civil War, to Sir Henry Lee's 
regiment, levied for the service of King Charles; and it 
was said he engaged more than once personally in the 
field. At least it is certain that Dr. RochecUffe was re- 
peatedly in great danger, as will appear from more pass- 
ages than one in the following history, which speaks of 
his own exploits, like Caesar, in the third person. I sus- 
pect, however, some Presbyterian commentator has 
been guilty of interpolating two or three passages. The 
manuscript was long in possession of the Everards, a 
distinguished family of that persuasion.^ 

During the usurpation Dr. Rochecliffe was con- 
stantly engaged in one or other of the premature at- 
tempts at a restoration of monarchy ; and was accounted, 
for his audacity, presence of mind, and depth of judg- 
ment, one of the greatest undertakers for the King in 
that busy time, with this trifling drawback, that the 
plots in which he busied himself were almost constantly 
detected. Nay, it was suspected that Cromwell himself 
sometimes contrived to suggest to him the intrigues in 
which he engaged, by which means the wily Protector 
made experiments on the fidelity of doubtful friends, 
and became well acquainted with the plots of declared 
enemies, which he thought it more easy to disconcert 
and disappoint than to punish severely. 

Upon the Restoration, Dr. Rochecliffe regained his 
living of Woodstock, with other church preferment, and 
gave up polemics and political intrigues for philosophy. 

^ It IS hardly necessary to say, unless to some readers of very literal 
capacity, that Dr. Rochecliffe and his manuscripts are alike apocr>-phal. 



He was one of the constituent members of the Royal 
Society, and was the person through whom Charles re- 
quired of that learned body solution of their curious 
problem, 'Why, if a vessel is filled brimful of water, and 
a large live fish plunged into the water, nevertheless it 
shall not overflow the pitcher? ' Dr. Rochecliffe's expo- 
sition of this phenomenon was the most ingenious and 
instructive of four that were given in; and it is certain 
the Doctor must have gained the honour of the day, 
but for the obstinacy of a plain, dull, country gentle- 
man, who insisted that the experiment should be, in the 
first place, publicly tried. When this was done, the event 
showed it would have been rather rash to have adopted 
the facts exclusively on the royal authority; as the fish, 
however curiously inserted into his native element, 
splashed the water over the hall, and destroyed the 
credit of four ingenious essayists, besides a large Turkey 

Dr. Rochecliffe, it would seem, died about 1685, 
leaving many papers behind him of various kinds, and, 
above all, many valuable anecdotes of secret history, 
from which the following Memoirs have been extracted, 
on which we intend to say only a few words by way of 

The existence of Rosamond's Labyrinth, mentioned 
in these pages, is attested by Drayton in the reign of 
Queen Elizabeth: — 

'Rosamond's Labyrinth, whose ruins, together with 
her Well, being paved with square stones in the bottom, 
and also her Tower, from which the Labyrinth did run, 
are yet remaining, being vaults arched and walled with 
stone and brick, almost inextricably wound within one 



another, by which, if at any time her lodging were laid 
about by the Queen, she might easily avoid peril immi- 
nent, and, if need be, by secret issues take the air abroad, 
many furlongs about Woodstock in Oxfordshire.' ^ 

It is highly probable that a singular piece of phantas- 
magoria, which was certainly played off upon the Com- 
missioners of the Long Parliament, who were sent down 
to dispark and destroy Woodstock after the death of 
Charles I., was conducted by means of the secret pas- 
sages and recesses in the ancient Labyrinth of Rosa- 
mond, round which successive monarchs had erected a 
hunting-seat or lodge. 

There is a curious account of the disturbance given to 
those Honourable Commissioners, inserted by Dr. Plot 
in his Natural History of Oxfordshire. But, as I have not 
the book at hand, I can only allude to the work of the 
celebrated Glanville, Upon Witches, who has extracted 
it as an highly-accredited narrative of supernatural 
dealings. The beds of the Commissioners and their serv- 
ants were hoisted up till they were almost inverted, 
and then let down again so suddenly as to menace them 
with broken bones. Unusual and horrible noises dis- 
turbed those sacrilegious intromitters with royal prop- 
erty. The devil, on one occasion, brought them a warm- 
ing-pan; on another, pelted them with stones and 
horses' bones. Tubs of water were emptied on them in 
their sleep ; and so many other pranks of the same nature 
played at their expense, that they broke up housekeeping, 
and left their intended spoliation only half completed. 
The good sense of Dr. Plot suspected that these feats 

^ Drayton's England's Heroical Epistles, Note A on the Epistle, 
'Rosamond to King Henry.' 



were wrought by conspiracy and confederation, which 
Glanville of course endeavours to refute with all his 
might; for it could scarce be expected that he, who be- 
lieved in so convenient a solution as that of supernatural 
agency, would consent to relinquish the service of a key 
which will answer any lock, however intricate. 

Nevertheless, it was afterwards discovered that Dr. 
Plot was perfectly right; and that the only demon who 
wrought all these marvels was a disguised Royalist — a 
fellow called Trusty Joe, or some such name, formerly in 
the service of the keeper of the park, but who engaged 
in that of the Commissioners on purpose to subject them 
to his persecution. I think I have seen some account of 
the real state of the transaction, and of the machinery 
by which the wizard worked his wonders; but whether 
in a book or a pamphlet, I am uncertain, I remember one 
passage particularly, to this purpose. The Commission- 
ers having agreed to retain some articles out of the public 
account, in order to be divided among themselves, had 
entered into an indenture for ascertaining their share in 
the peculation, which they hid in a bow-pot for security. 
Now, when an assembly of divines, aided by the most 
strict religious characters in the neighbourhood of Wood- 
stock, were assembled to conjure down the supposed 
demon. Trusty Joe had contrived a firework, which he 
let off in the midst of the exorcism, and which destroyed 
the bow-pot; and, to the shame and confusion of the 
Commissioners, threw their secret indenture into the 
midst of the assembled ghost-seers, who became thus 
acquainted with their secret schemes of peculation. 

It is, however, to Uttle purpose for me to strain my 
memory about ancient and imperfect recollections con- 



ceming the particulars of these fantastic disturbances 
at Woodstock, since Dr. Rochecliffe's papers give such a 
much more accurate narrative than could be obtained 
from any account in existence before their publication. 
Indeed, I might have gone much more fully into this 
part of my subject, for the materials are ample; but, to 
tell the reader a secret, some friendly critics were of 
opinion they made the story hang on hand; and thus I 
was prevailed on to be more concise on the subject than 
I might otherwise have been. 

The impatient reader, perhaps, is by this time accus- 
ing me of keeping the sun from him with a candle. Were 
the sunshine as bright, however, as it is likely to prove; 
and the flambeau, or Unk, a dozen of times as smoky, my 
friend must remain in the inferior atmosphere a minute 
longer, while I disclaim the idea of poaching on another's 
manor. Hawks, we say in Scotland, ought not to pick 
out hawks' eyes, or tire upon each other's quarry; and, 
therefore, if I had known that, in its date and its char- 
acters, this tale was likely to interfere with that recently 
published by a distinguished contemporary, I should 
unquestionably have left Dr. Rochecliffe's manuscript 
in peace for the present season. But before I was aware 
of this circumstance, this Httle book was half through the 
press; and I had only the alternative of avoiding any 
intentional imitation, by delaying a perusal of the con- 
temporary work in question. Some accidental collision 
there must be, when works of a similar character are 
finished on the same general system of historical manners, 
and the same historical personages are introduced. Of 
course, if such have occurred, I shall be probably the 
sufferer. But my intentions have been at least innocent, 



since I look on it as one of the advantages attending the 
conclusion of Woodstock, that the finishing of my own 
task will permit me to have the pleasure of reading 
Bramhletye House, from which I have hitherto conscien- 
tiously abstained. 



Some were for gospel ministers, 
And some for redcoat seculars. 
As men most fit t' hold forth the word, 
And wield the one and th' other sword. 

Butler's Hudibras. 

There is a handsome parish church in the town of 
Woodstock — I am told so, at least, for I never saw it, 
having scarce time, when at the place, to view the magnif- 
icence of Blenheim, its painted halls and tapestried bow- 
ers, and then return in due season to dine in hall with my 
learned friend, the provost of , being one of those oc- 
casions on which a man wrongs himself extremely if he 
lets his curiosity interfere with his punctuality. I had 
the church accurately described to me, with a view to 
this work; but, as I have some reason to doubt whether 
my informant had ever seen the inside of it himself, I 
shall be content to say that it is now a handsome edifice, 
most part of which was rebuilt forty or fifty years since, 
although it still contains some arches of the old chantry, 
founded, it is said, by King John. It is to this more an- 
cient part of the building that my story refers. 

On a morning in the end of September or beginning of 
October, in the year 1652, being a day appointed for a 
solemn thanksgiving for the decisive victory at Wor- 
cester, a respectable audience was assembled in the old 
chantry, or chapel, of King John. The condition of the 

37 1 


church and character of the audience both bore witness 
to the rage of civil war and the peculiar spirit of the 
times. The sacred edifice showed many marks of dilapi- 
dation. The windows, once filled with stained glass, had 
been dashed to pieces with pikes and muskets, as mat- 
ters of and pertaining to idolatry. The carving on the 
reading-desk was damaged, and two fair screens of beau- 
tiful sculptured oak had been destroyed, for the same 
pithy and conclusive reason. The high altar had been 
removed, and the gilded railing which was once around 
it was broken down and carried off. The ef&gies of sev- 
eral tombs were mutilated, and now lay scattered about 
the church, 

Torn from their destined niche, — unworthy meed 
Of knightly counsel or heroic deed! 

The autumn wind piped through empty aisles, in 
which the remains of stakes and trevisses of rough-hewn 
timber, as well as a quantity of scattered hay and tram- 
pled straw, seemed to intimate that the hallowed pre- 
cincts had been, upon some late emergency, made the 
quarters of a troop of horse. 

The audience, like the building, was abated in splen- 
dour. None of the ancient and habitual worshippers dur- 
ing peaceful times were now to be seen in their carved 
galleries, with hands shadowing their brows, while com- 
posing their minds to pray where their fathers had 
prayed, and after the same mode of worship. The eye of 
the yeoman and peasant sought in vain the tall form of 
old Sir Henry Lee of Ditchley, as, wrapped in his laced 
cloak, and with beard and whiskers duly composed, he 
moved slowly through the aisles, followed by the faith- 


ful mastiff, or bloodhound, which in old time had saved 
his master by his fidelity, and which regularly followed 
him to church. Bevis indeed, fell under the proverb 
which avers, 'He is a good dog which goes to church'; 
for, bating an occasional temptation to warble along 
with the accord, he behaved himself as decorously as any 
of the congregation, and returned as much edified, per- 
haps, as most of them. The damsels of Woodstock 
looked as vainly for the laced cloaks, jingling spurs, 
slashed boots and tall plumes of the young cavaHers of 
this and other high-born houses, moving through the 
streets and the churchyard with the careless ease which 
indicates perhaps rather an overweening degree of self- 
confidence, yet shows graceful when mingled with good- 
humour and courtesy. The good old dames, too, in their 
white hoods and black velvet gowns, their daughters, 
' the cynosure of neighbouring eyes,' — where were they 
all now, who, when they entered the church, used to 
divide men's thoughts between them and Heaven? * But, 
ah ! AHce Lee — so sweet, so gentle, so condescending in 
thy loveliness, — [thus proceeds a contemporary annaHst, 
whose manuscript we have deciphered] — why is my story 
to turn upon thy fallen fortunes ? and why not rather to 
the period when, in the very dismounting from your 
palfrey, you attracted as many eyes as if an angel had 
descended, as many blessings as if the benignant being 
had come fraught with good tidings? No creature wert 
thou of an idle romancer's imagination, no being fantas- 
tically bedizened with inconsistent perfections: thy mer- 
its made me love thee well, and for thy faults — so well 
did they show amid thy good qualities, that I think they 
made me love thee better.' 


With the house of Lee had disappeared from the 
chantry of King John others of gentle blood and hon- 
oured lineage — Freemantles, Winklecombes, Drycotts, 
etc.; for the air that blew over the towers of Oxford was 
unfavourable to the growth of Puritanism, which was 
more general in the neighbouring counties. There were 
among the congregation, however, one or two that, by 
their habits and demeanour, seemed country gentlemen 
of consideration, and there were also present some of the 
notables of the town of Woodstock, cutlers or glovers 
chiefly, whose skill in steel or leather had raised them to 
a comfortable livelihood. These dignitaries wore long 
black cloaks, plaited close at the neck, and, like peace- 
ful citizens, carried their Bibles and memorandum-books 
at their girdles, instead of knife or sword. ^ This respect- 
able, but least numerous, part of the audience were such 
decent persons as had adopted the Presbyterian form of 
faith, renouncing the hturgy and hierarchy of the Church 
of England, and Hving under the tuition of the Rev. 
Nehemiah Holdenough, much famed for the length and 
strength of his powers of predication. With these grave 
seniors sate their goodly dames in ruff and gorget, like 
the portraits which in catalogues of paintings are de- 
signed 'wife of a burgomaster'; and their pretty daugh- 
ters, whose study, like that of Chaucer's physician, was 
not always in the Bible, but who were, on the contrary, 
when a glance could escape the vigilance of their hon- 
oured mothers, inattentive themselves and the cause of 
inattention in others. 

But, besides these dignified persons, there were in the 

' This custom among the Puritans is mentioned often in old plays, 
and among others in the Widow of Wailing Street. 


church a numerous collection of the lower orders, some 
brought thither by curiosity, but many of them un- 
washed artificers, bewildered in the theological discus- 
sions of the time, and of as many various sects as there 
are colours in the rainbow. The presumption of these 
learned Thebans being in exact proportion to their ig- 
norance, the last was total and the first boundless. Their 
behaviour in the church was anything but reverential or 
edifying. Most of them affected a cynical contempt for 
all that was only held sacred by human sanction: the 
church was to these men but a steeple-house, the clergy- 
man an ordinary person, her ordinances dry bran and 
sapless pottage,^ unfitted for the spirituahsed palates of 
the saints, and the prayer an address to Heaven, to which 
each acceded or not, as in his too critical judgment he 
conceived fit. 

The elder amongst them sate or lay on the benches, 
with their high steeple-crowned hats pulled over their 
severe and knitted brows, waiting for the Presbyterian 
parson, as mastiffs sit in dumb expectation of the bull 
that is to be brought to the stake. The younger mixed, 
some of them, a bolder Hcense of manners with their her- 
esies: they gazed round on the women, yawned, coughed 
and whispered, eat apples, and cracked nuts, as if in the 
gallery of a theatre ere the piece commences. 

Besides all these, the congregation contained a few 
soldiers, some in corslets and steel caps, some in buff, 
and others in red coats. These men of war had their 
bandoleers, with ammunition, slung round them, and 
rested on their pikes and muskets. They, too, had their 

* See a curious vindication of this indecent simile here for the Com- 
mon Prayer, in Note i, at end. 


peculiar doctrines on the most difficult points of religion, 
and united the extravagances of enthusiasm with the 
most determined courage and resolution in the field. The 
burghers of Woodstock looked on these miUtary saints 
with no small degree of awe; for though not often sullied 
with deeds of plunder or cruelty, they had the power of 
both absolutely in their hands, and the peaceful citizen 
had no alternative, save submission to whatever the ill- 
regulated and enthusiastic imaginations of their martial 
guides might suggest. 

After some time spent in waiting for him, Mr. Hold- 
enough began to walk up the aisles of the chapel, not 
with the slow and dignified carriage with which the old 
rector was of yore wont to maintain the dignity of the 
surplice, but with a hasty step, like one who arrives too 
late at an appointment, and bustles forward to make the 
best use of his time. He was a tall thin man, with an 
adust complexion, and the vivacity of his eye indicated 
some irascibility of temperament. His dress was brown, 
not black, and over his other vestments he wore, in hon- 
our of Calvin, a Geneva cloak of a blue colour, which fell 
backwards from his shoulders as he posted on to the pul- 
pit. His grizzled hair was cut as short as shears could 
perform the feat, and covered with a black silk skullcap, 
which stuck so close to his head, that the two ears ex- 
panded from under it as if they had been intended as 
handles by which to Hft the whole person. Moreover, 
the worthy divine wore spectacles, and a long grizzled 
peaked beard, and he carried in his hand a small pocket 
Bible with silver clasps. Upon arriving at the pulpit, 
he paused a moment to take breath, then began to 
ascend the steps by two at a time. 



But his course was arrested by a strong hand, which 
seized his cloak. It was that of one who had detached 
himself from the group of soldiery. He was a stout man 
of middle stature, with a quick eye, and a countenance 
which, though plain, had yet an expression that fixed 
the attention. His dress, though not strictly military, 
partook of that character. He wore large hose made of 
calves'-leather, and a tuck, as it was then called, or rapier, 
of tremendous length, balanced on the other side by a 
dagger. The belt was morocco, garnished with pistols. 

The minister, thus intercepted in his duty, faced round 
upon the party who had seized him, and demanded, in 
no gentle tone, the meaning of the interruption. 

' Friend,' quoth the intruder, ' is it thy purpose to hold 
forth to these good people? ' 

*Ay, marry is it,' said the clergyman, 'and such is my 
bounden duty. Woe to me if I preach not the Gospel. 
Prithee, friend, let me not in my labour — ' 

*Nay,' said the man of warlike mien, *I am myself 
minded to hold forth ; therefore, do thou desist, or if thou 
wilt do by mine advice, remain and fructify with those 
poor goslings, to whom I am presently about to shake 
forth the crumbs of comfortable doctrine.' 

* Give place, thou man of Satan,' said the priest, wax- 
ing wroth; 'respect mine order — my cloth.' 

' I see no more to respect in the cut of thy cloak, or in 
the cloth of which it is fashioned,' said the other, 'than 
thou didst in the bishop's rochets: they were black and 
white, thou art blue and brown. Sleeping dogs every 
one of you, l3ang down, loving to slumber — shepherds 
that starve the flock, but will not watch it, each looking 
to his own gain — hum.' 


Scenes of this indecent kind were so common at the 
time, that no one thought of interfering: the congrega- 
tion looked on in silence, the better class scandalised, 
and the lower orders, some laughing, and others backing 
the soldier or minister as their fancy dictated. Mean- 
time the struggle waxed fiercer; Mr. Holdenough clam- 
oured for assistance. 

'Master Mayor of Woodstock,' he exclaimed, 'wilt 
thou be among those wicked magistrates who bear the 
sword in vain? Citizens, will you not help your pastor? 
Worthy aldermen, will you see me strangled on the pul- 
pit stairs by this man of bufif and BeHal? But lo, I will 
overcome him, and cast his cords from me.' 

As Holdenough spoke, he struggled to ascend the pul- 
pit stairs, holding hard on the banisters. His tormentor 
held fast by the skirts of the cloak, which went nigh 
to the choking of the wearer, until, as he spoke the 
words last mentioned, in a half-strangled voice, Mr. 
Holdenough dexterously slipped the string which tied it 
round his neck, so that the garment suddenly gave way; 
the soldier fell backwards down the steps, and the liber- 
ated divine skipped into the pulpit, and began to give 
forth a psalm of triumph over his prostrate adversary. 
But a great hubbub in the church marred his exultation, 
and although he and his faithful clerk continued to sing 
the hymn of victory, their notes were only heard by fits, 
like the whistle of a curlew during a gale of wind. 

The cause of the tumult was as follows: — The Mayor 
was a zealous Presbyterian, and witnessed the intrusion 
of the soldier with great indignation from the very be- 
ginning, though he hesitated to interfere with an armed 
man while on his legs and capable of resistance. But no 



sooner did he behold the champion of Independency 
sprawling on his back, with the divine's Geneva cloak 
fluttering in his hands, than the magistrate rushed for- 
ward, exclaiming that such insolence was not to be en- 
dured, and ordered his constables to seize the prostrate 
champion, proclaiming, in the magnanimity of wrath, 
'I will commit every redcoat of them all — I will com- 
mit him were he Noll Cromwell himself!' 

The worthy Mayor's indignation had overmastered 
his reason when he made this mistimed vaunt; for three 
soldiers, who had hitherto stood motionless like statues, 
made each a stride in advance, which placed them be- 
twixt the municipal officers and the soldier, who was in 
the act of rising; then making at once the movement of 
resting arms according to the manual as then practised, 
their musket-butts rang on the church pavement within 
an inch of the gouty toes of Master Mayor. The ener- 
getic magistrate, whose efforts in favour of order were 
thus checked, cast one glance on his supporters, but that 
was enough to show him that force was not on his side. 
All had shrunk back on hearing that ominous clatter of 
stone and iron. He was obliged to descend to expostu- 

'What do you mean, my masters?' he said; 'is it like a 
decent and God-fearing soldiery, who have wrought such 
things for the land as have never before been heard of, 
to brawl and riot in the church, or to aid, abet, and com- 
fort a profane fellow, who hath, upon a solemn thanks- 
giving, excluded the minister from his own pulpit? ' 

'We have nought to do with thy church, as thou call'st 
it,' said he who, by a small feather in front of his morion, 
appeared to be the corporal of the party; 'we see not 


why men of gifts should not be heard within these cita- 
dels of superstition, as well as the voice of the men of 
crape of old and the men of cloak now. Wherefore, we 
wall pluck yon Jack Presbyter out of his wooden sentinel- 
box, and our own watchman shall reHeve the guard, and 
mount thereon, and cry aloud and spare not.' 

'Nay, gentlemen,' said the Mayor, 'if such be your 
purpose, we have not the means to withstand you, being, 
as you see, peaceful and quiet men. But let me first 
speak with this worthy minister, NehemiahHoldenough, 
to persuade him to yield up his place for the time with- 
out further scandal.' 

The peacemaking Mayor then interrupted the qua- 
vering of Holdenough and the clerk, and prayed both 
to retire, else there would, he said, be certainly strife. 

'Strife!' replied the Presbyterian divine, with scorn; 
' no fear of strife among men that dare not testify against 
this open profanation of the church and daring display 
of heresy. Would your neighbours of Banbury have 
brooked such an insult? ' 

' Come — come, Master Holdenough,' said the Mayor, 
'put us not to mutiny and cry clubs. I tell you once 
more, we are not men of war or blood.' 

'Not more than may be drawn by the point of a 
needle,' said the preacher, scornfully. 'Ye tailors of 
Woodstock — for what is a glover but a tailor working 
on kid-skin? — I forsake you, in scorn of your faint 
hearts and feeble hands, and will seek me elsewhere 
a flock which will not fly from their shepherd at the 
braying of the first wild ass which cometh from out the 
great desert.' 
. So saying, the aggrieved divine departed from his 



pulpit, and shaking the dust from his shoes, left the 
church as hastily as he had entered it, though with a dif- 
ferent reason for his speed. The citizens saw his retreat 
with sorrow, and not without a compunctious feehng, 
as if conscious that they were not playing the most cour- 
ageous part in the world. The Mayor himself and sev- 
eral others left the church, to follow and appease him. 
The Independent orator, late prostrate, was now tri- 
umphant, and inducting himself into the pulpit without 
further ceremony, he pulled a Bible from his pocket, 
and selected his text from the forty-fifth Psalm — ' Gird 
thy sword upon thy thigh, O most mighty, with thy 
glory and thy majesty: and in thy majesty ride pros- 
perously.' Upon this theme he commenced one of those 
wild declamations common at the period, in which men 
were accustomed to wrest and pervert the language of 
Scripture, by adapting it to modern events.^ The lan- 
guage, which, in its Hteral sense, was applied to Kjing 
David, and typically referred to the coming of the Mes- 
siah, was, in the opinion of the military orator, most 
properly to be interpreted of Oliver Cromwell, the vic- 
torious general of the infant Commonwealth, which was 
never destined to come of age, 'Gird on thy sword!' 
exclaimed the preacher, emphatically; 'and was not 
that a pretty bit of steel as ever dangled from a corslet, 
or rung against a steel saddle? Ay, ye prick up your ears 
now, ye cutlers of Woodstock, as if ye should know some- 
thing of a good fox broadsword. Did you forge it, I trow? 
Was the steel quenched with water from Rosamond's 
Well, or the blade blessed by the old cuckoldy priest of 
Godstow? You would have us think, I warrant me, that 
^ See Note i. 


you wrought it and welded it, grinded and polished it, 
and all the while it never came on a Woodstock stithy! 
You were all too busy making whittles for the lazy crape- 
men of Oxford — bouncing priests, whose eyes were so 
closed up with fat, that they could not see destruction till 
she had them by the throat. But I can tell you where the 
sword was forged, and tempered, and welded, and 
grinded, and polished. When you were, as I said before, 
making whittles for false priests, and daggers for dissolute 
G — d-d — n-me Cavaliers, to cut the people of England's 
throats with, it was forged at Long Marston Moor, 
where blows went faster than ever rung hammer on anvil ; 
and it was tempered at Naseby, in the best blood of the 
Cavaliers; and it was welded in Ireland against the walls 
of Drogheda; and it was grinded on Scottish lives at 
Dunbar; and now of late it was polished in Worcester, 
till it shines as bright as the sun in the middle heaven, 
and there is no light in England that shall come nigh 
unto it.' 

Here the miHtary part of the congregation raised a 
hum of approbation, which, being a sound like the 
'hear — hear' of the British House of Commons, was 
calculated to heighten the enthusiasm of the orator, by 
intimating the sympathy of the audience. 'And then,' 
resumed the preacher, rising in energy as he found that 
his audience partook in these feelings, * what sayeth the 
text? Ride on prosperously — do not stop — do not 
call a halt — do not quit the saddle — pursue the scat- 
tered fliers — sound the trumpet, not a levant or a 
flourish, but a point of war — sound, boot and saddle 
— to horse and away — a charge ! Follow after the 
Young Man! What part have we in him? Slay, take, 



destroy, divide the spoil! Blessed art thou, Oliver, on 
account of thine honour; thy cause is clear, thy call is 
undoubted — never has defeat come near thy leading- 
staff, nor disaster attended thy banner. Ride in, flower 
of England's soldiers! — ride on, chosen leader of God's 
champions ! — gird up the loins of thy resolution, and 
be steadfast to the mark of thy high calling!' 

Another deep and stern hum, echoed by the ancient 
embowered arches of the old chantry, gave him an op- 
portunity of an instant's repose; when the people of 
Woodstock heard him, and not without anxiety, turn 
the stream of his oratory into another channel. 

*But wherefore, ye people of Woodstock, do I say 
these tilings to you, who claim no portion in our David, 
no interest in England's son of Jesse? You, who were 
fighting as well as your might could, and it was not very 
formidable, for the late Man, under that old blood- 
thirsty Papist Sir Jacob Aston, are you not now plot- 
ting, or ready to plot, for the restoring, as ye call it, of 
the Young Man — the unclean son of the slaughtered 
tyrant, the fugitive after whom the true hearts of Eng- 
land are now following, that they may take and slay 
him? " Why should your rider turn his bridle our way? " 
say you in your hearts; "we will none of him; if we may 
help ourselves, we will rather turn us to wallow in the 
mire of monarchy, with the sow that was washed but 
newly." Come, men of Woodstock, I will ask, and do you 
answer me. Hunger ye still after the flesh-pots of the 
monks of Godstow? and ye will say, Nay; but wherefore, 
except that the pots are cracked and broken, and the 
fire is extinguished wherewith thy oven used to boil? 
And again, I ask, drink ye still of the well of the forni- 



cations of the fair Rosamond? Ye will say, Nay; but 
wherefore — ? ' 

Here the orator, ere he could answer the question in 
his own way, was surprised by the following reply, very 
pithily pronounced by one of the congregation: — 'Be- 
cause you, and the like of you, have left us no brandy to 
mix with it.' 

All eyes turned to the audacious speaker, who stood 
beside one of the thick sturdy Saxon pillars, which he 
himself somewhat resembled, being short of stature, but 
very strongly made, a squat broad Little John sort of 
figure, leaning on a quarter-staff, and wearing a jerkin, 
which, though now sorely stained and discoloured, had 
once been of the Lincoln green, and showed remnants of 
having been laced. There was an air of careless, good- 
humoured audacity about the fellow; and, though under 
military restraint, there were some of the citizens who 
could not help crying out — 'Well said, Joceline Joliffe !' 

'Jolly Joceline, call ye him?' proceeded the preacher, 
without showing either confusion or displeasure at the 
interruption ; ' I will make him Joceline of the jail, if he 
interrupts me again. One of your park-keepers, I war- 
rant, that can never forget they have borne C. R. upon 
their badges and bugle-horns, even as a dog bears his 
owner's name on his collar — a pretty emblem for Christ- 
ian men ! But the brute beast hath the better of him : 
the brute weareth his own coat, and the caitiff thrall 
wears his master's. I have seen such a wag make a rope's 
end wag ere now. Where was I? Oh, rebuking you for 
your backslidings, men of Woodstock. Yes, then ye will 
say ye have renounced Popery, and ye have renounced 
Prelacy, and then ye wipe your mouth like Pharisees as 



ye are; and who but you for purity of religion ! But I tell 
you, ye are but like Jehu the son of Nimshi, who broke 
down the house of Baal, yet departed not from the sins 
of Jeroboam. Even so ye eat not fish on Friday with the 
blinded Papists, nor minced pies on the twenty-fifth day 
of December, like the slothful Prelatists; but ye will 
gorge on sack-posset each night in the year with your 
blind Presbyterian guide, and ye will speak evil of digni- 
ties, and revile the Commonwealth; and ye will glorify 
yourselves in your park of Woodstock, and say, "Was 
it not walled in first of any other in England, and that 
by Henry, son of William called the Conqueror?" And 
ye have a princely lodge therein, and call the same a royal 
lodge; and ye have an oak which ye call the King's Oak; 
and ye steal and eat the venison of the park, and ye say, 
"This is the king's venison, we will wash it down with a 
cup to the king's health: better we eat it than those 
Roundheaded Commonwealth knaves." But listen unto 
me, and take warning. For these things come we to con- 
troversy with you. And our name shall be a cannon- 
shot, before which your lodge, in the pleasantness 
whereof ye take pastime, shall be blown into ruins; and 
we will be as a wedge to spHt asunder the King's Oak 
into billets to heat a brown baker's oven; and we will 
dispark your park, and slay your deer, and eat them 
ourselves, neither shall you have any portion thereof, 
whether in neck or haunch. Ye shall not haft a tenpenny 
knife with the horns thereof, neither shall ye cut a pair 
of breeches out of the hide, for all ye be cutlers and glov- 
ers ; and ye shall have no comfort or support neither from 
the sequestrated traitor Henry Lee, who called himself 
ranger of Woodstock, nor from any on his behalf; for 



they are coming hither who shall be called Maher- 
shalal-hash-baz, because he maketh haste to the spoil.' 
Here ended this wild effusion, the latter part of which 
fell heavy on the souls of the poor citizens of Woodstock, 
as tending to confirm a report of an unpleasing nature 
which had been lately circulated. The communication 
with London was indeed slow, and the news which it 
transmitted were uncertain; no less uncertain were the 
times themselves, and the rumours which were circu- 
lated, exaggerated by the hopes and fears of so many 
various factions. But the general stream of report, so far 
as Woodstock was concerned, had of late run uniformly 
in one direction. Day after day they had been informed 
that the fatal fiat of Parliament had gone out, for selling 
the park of Woodstock, destroying its lodge, disparking 
its forest, and erasing, as far as they could be erased, 
all traces of its ancient fame. Many of the citizens were 
likely to be sufferers on this occasion, as several of them 
enjoyed, either by sufferance or right, various convenient 
privileges of pasturage, cutting firewood, and the Uke, 
in the royal chase; and all the inhabitants of the little 
borough were hurt to think that the scenery of the place 
was to be destroyed, its edifices ruined, and its honours 
rent away. This is a patriotic sensation often found in 
such places, which ancient distinctions and long-cher- 
ished recollections of former days render so different from 
towns of recent date. The natives of Woodstock felt it 
in the fullest force. They had trembled at the antici- 
pated calamity ; but now, when it was announced by the 
appearance of those dark, stern, and at the same time 
omnipotent, soldiers — now that they heard it pro- 
claimed by the mouth of one of their military preachers, 



they considered their fate as inevitable. The causes of 
disagreement among themselves were for the time for- 
gotten, as the congregation, dismissed without psalmody 
or benediction, went slowly and mournfully homeward, 
each to his own place of abode. 



Come forth, old man. Thy daughter's side 
Is now the fitting place for thee; 

When Time hath qucll'd the oali's bold pride, 
The youthful tendril yet may hide 
The ruins of the parent tree. 

When the sermon was ended, the military orator wiped 
his brow ; for, notwithstanding the coolness of the weather 
he was heated with the vehemence of his speech and 
action. He then descended from the pulpit, and spoke 
a word or two to the corporal who commanded the party 
of soldiers, who, replying by a sober nod of intelligence, 
drew his men together, and marched them in order to 
their quarters in the town. 

The preacher himself, as if nothing extraordinary had 
happened, left the church and sauntered through the 
streets of Woodstock, with the air of a stranger who was 
viewing the town, without seeming to observe that he 
was himself in his turn anxiously surveyed by the citi- 
zens, whose furtive yet frequent glances seemed to regard 
him as something ahke suspected and dreadful, yet on 
no account to be provoked. He heeded them not, but 
stalked on in the manner affected by the distinguished 
fanatics of the day — a stiff, solemn pace, a severe, and 
at the same time a contemplative, look, like that of a 
man discomposed at the interruptions which earthly 
objects forced upon him, obUging him by their intrusion 
to withdraw his thoughts for an instant from celestial 
things. Innocent pleasures of what kind soever they held 
in suspicion and contempt, and innocent mirth they 



abominated. It was, however, a cast of mind that 
formed men for great and manly actions, as it adopted 
principle, and that of an unselfish character, for the 
ruling motive, instead of the gratification of passion. 
Some of these men were indeed hypocrites, using the 
cloak of religion only as a covering for their ambition; 
but many really possessed the devotional character and 
the severe republican virtue which others only affected. 
By far the greater number hovered between these ex- 
tremes, felt to a certain extent the power of religion, 
and complied with the times in affecting a great deal. 

The individual whose pretensions to sanctity, written 
as they were upon his brow and gait, have given rise to 
the above digression reached at length the extremity 
of the principal street, which terminates upon the park 
of Woodstock. A battlemented portal of Gothic appear- 
ance defended the entrance to the avenue. It was of 
mixed architecture, but on the whole, though composed 
of the styles of the different ages when it had received 
additions, had a striking and imposing effect. An im- 
mense gate composed of rails of hammered iron, with 
many a flourish and scroll, displaying as its uppermost 
ornament the ill-fated cipher of C. R., was now decayed, 
being partly wasted with rust, partly by violence. 

The stranger paused, as if uncertain whether he should 
demand or assay entrance. He looked through the grat- 
ing down an avenue skirted by majestic oaks, which led 
onward with a gentle curve, as if into the depths of some 
ample and ancient forest. The wicket of the large iron 
gate being left unwittingly open, the soldier was tempted 
to enter, yet with some hesitation, as he that intrudes 
upon ground which he conjectures may be prohibited; 



indeed, his manner showed more reverence for the scene 
than could have been expected from his condition and 
character. He slackened his stately and consequential 
pace, and at length stood still and looked around him. 

Not far from the gate, he saw rising from the trees 
one or two ancient and venerable turrets, bearing each 
its own vane of rare device gHttering in the autumn sun. 
These indicated the ancient hunting-seat, or lodge, as 
it was called, which had, since the time of Henry II., 
been occasionally the residence of the English monarchs, 
when it pleased them to visit the woods of Oxford, which 
then so abounded with game that, according to old 
Fuller, huntsmen and falconers were nowhere better 
pleased. The situation which the lodge occupied was a 
piece of flat ground, now planted with sycamores, not 
far from the entrance to that magnificent spot where the 
spectator first stops to gaze upon Blenheim, to think of 
Marlborough's victories, and to applaud or criticise the 
cumbrous magnificence of Vanburgh's style. 

There, too, paused our military preacher, but with 
other thoughts, and for other purpose, than to admire 
the scene around him. It was not long afterwards when 
he beheld two persons, a male and a female, approach- 
ing slowly, and so deeply engaged in their own conver- 
sation that they did not raise their eyes to observe that 
there stood a stranger in the path before them. The sol- 
dier took advantage of their state of abstraction, and, 
desirous at once to watch their motions and avoid their 
observation, he glided beneath one of the huge trees 
which skirted the path, and whose boughs, sweeping the 
ground on every side, ensured him against discovery, 
unless in case of an actual search. 



In the mean time, the gentleman and lady continued 
to advance, directing their course to a rustic seat, which 
still enjoyed the sunbeams, and was placed adjacent to 
the tree where the stranger was concealed. 

The man was elderly, yet seemed bent more by sor- 
row and infirmity than by the weight of years. He wore 
a mourning cloak, over a dress of the same melancholy 
colour, cut in that picturesque form which Vandyck has 
rendered immortal. But although the dress was hand- 
some, it was put on and worn with a carelessness which 
showed the mind of the wearer ill at ease. His aged, yet 
still handsome, countenance had the same air of conse- 
quence which distinguished his dress and his gait. A 
striking part of his appearance was a long white beard, 
which descended far over the breast of his slashed doub- 
let, and looked singular from its contrast in colour with 
his habit. 

The young lady, by whom this venerable gentleman 
seemed to be in some degree supported as they walked 
arm in arm, was a slight and sylph-like form, with a per- 
son so delicately made, and so beautiful in countenance, 
that it seemed the earth on which she walked was too 
grossly massive a support for a creature so aerial. But 
mortal beauty must share human sorrows. The eyes 
of the beautiful being showed tokens of tears; her colour 
was heightened as she listened to her aged companion; 
and it was plain, from his melancholy yet displeased 
look, that the conversation was as distressing to himself 
as to her. When they sate down on the bench we have 
mentioned, the gentleman's discourse could be distinctly 
overheard by the eavesdropping soldier, but the answers 
of the young lady reached his ears rather less distinctly. 



' It is not to be endured !' said the old man, passionately ; 
'it would stir up a paralytic wretch to start up a soldier. 
My people have been thinned, I grant you, or have fallen 
off from me in these times. I owe them no grudge for it, 
poor knaves; what should they do waiting on me, when 
the pantry has no bread and the buttery no ale. But we 
have still about us some rugged foresters of the old Wood- 
stock breed — old as myself most of them. What of 
that? old wood seldom warps in the wetting. I will hold 
out the old house, and it will not be the first time that 
I have held it against ten times the strength that we 
hear of now.' 

' Alas ! my dear father ! ' said the young lady, in a tone 
which seemed to intimate his proposal of defence to be 
altogether desperate. 

'And why alas?' said the gentleman, angrily; 'is it 
because I shut my door against a score or two of these 
bloodthirsty hypocrites?' 

'But their masters can as easily send a regiment or an 
army, if they will, ' repHed the lady ; ' and what good would 
your present defence do, excepting to exasperate them 
to your utter destruction? ' 

'Be it so, Alice,' replied her father; 'I have lived my 
time, and beyond it. I have outlived the kindest and 
most princely of masters. What do I do on the earth 
since the dismal Thirtieth of January? The parricide of 
that day was a signal to all true servants of Charles 
Stuart to avenge his death, or die as soon after as they 
could find a worthy opportunity.' 

'Do not speak thus, sir,' said Alice Lee: 'it does not 
become your gravity and your worth to throw away 
that life which may yet be of service to your king and 



country. It will not and cannot always be thus. England 
will not long endure the rulers which these bad times 
have assigned her. In the mean while — [here a few 
words escaped the listener's ears] — and beware of that 
impatience which makes bad worse.' 

' Worse ! ' exclaimed the impatient old man. * What 
can be worse? Is it not at the worst already? Will not 
these people expel us from the only shelter we have left, 
dilapidate what remains of royal property under my 
charge, make the palace of princes into a den of thieves, 
and then wipe their mouths and thank God, as if they 
had done an alms-deed?' 

'Still,' said his daughter, 'there is hope behind, and I 
trust the King is ere this out of their reach. We have 
reason to think well of my brother Albert's safety.' 

* Ay, Albert! there again,' said the old man, in a tone 
of reproach; 'had it not been for thy entreaties I had 
gone to Worcester myself; but I must needs lie here like 
a worthless hound when the hunt is up, when who knows 
what service I might have shown? An old man's head 
is sometimes useful when his arm is but Uttle worth. 
But you and Albert were so desirous that he should 
go alone, and now who can say what has become of 

'Nay — nay, father,' said Alice, 'we have good hope 
that Albert escaped from that fatal day; yoimg Abney 
saw him a mile from the field.' 

'Young Abney Hed, I believe,' said the father, in the 
same humour of contradiction. ' Young Abney's tongue 
seems quicker than his hands, but far slower than his 
horse's heels when he leaves the Roundheads behind 
him. I would rather Albert's dead body were laid between 



Charles and Cromwell than hear he fled as early as young 

'My dearest father,' said the young lady, weeping as 
she spoke, 'what can I say to comfort you?' 

' Comfort me, say'st thou, girl? I am sick of comfort: 
an honourable death, with the ruins of Woodstock for 
my monument, were the only comfort to old Henry Lee. 
Yes, by the memory of my fathers ! I will make good the 
lodge against these rebellious robbers.' 

'Yet be ruled, dearest father,' said the maiden, 'and 
submit to that which we cannot gainsay. My uncle 
Everard — ' 

Here the old man caught at her unfinished words. 
'Thy uncle Everard, wench! Well, get on. What of thy 
precious and loving uncle Everard?' 

'Nothing, sir,' she said, 'if the subject displeases you.' 

' Displeases me ! ' he replied, ' why should it displease 
me? or if it did, why shouldst thou, or any one, affect 
to care about it? What is it that hath happened of late 
years — what is it can be thought to happen that as- 
trologer can guess at — which can give pleasure to us? * 

'Fate,' she replied, 'may have in store the joyful re- 
storation of our banished prince.' 

'Too late for my time, Alice,' said the knight: 'if there 
be such a white page in the heavenly book, it will 
not be turned until long after my day. But I see thou 
wouldst escape me. In a word, what of thy uncle Ever- 

'Nay, sir,' said Alice, 'God knows I would rather be 
silent for ever than speak what might, as you would take 
it, add to your present distemperature.' 

'Distemperature!' said her father. 'Oh, thou art a 



sweet-lipped physician, and wouldst, I warrant me, drop 
nought but sweet balm, and honey, and oil on my dis- 
temperature, if that is the phrase for an old man's ail- 
ment, when he is wellnigh heartbroken. Once more, 
what of thy uncle Everard? ' 

His last words were uttered in a high and peevish 
tone of voice ; and Alice Lee answered her father in a 
trembling and submissive tone. 

* I only meant to say, sir, that I am well assured that 
my uncle Everard, when we quit this place — ' 

* That is to say, when we are kicked out of it by crop- 
eared canting villains like himself. But on with thy 
bountiful uncle — what will he do? Will he give us the 
remains of his worshipful and economical housekeeping, 
the fragments of a thrice-sacked capon twice a week, and 
a plentiful fast on the other five days? Will he give us 
beds beside his half-starved nags, and put them under 
a short allowance of straw, that his sister's husband — 
that I should have called my deceased angel by such a 
name! — and his sister's daughter, may not sleep on the 
stones? Or will he send us a noble each, with a warning 
to make it last, for he had never known the ready penny 
so hard to come by? Or what else will yoiir uncle Ever- 
ard do for us? Get us a furlough to beg? Why, I can 
do that without him.' 

'You misconstrue him much,' answered Alice, with 
more spirit than she had hitherto displayed ; ' and would 
you but question your own heart, you would acknowledge 
— I speak with reverence — that your tongue utters 
what your better judgment would disown. My uncle 
Everard is neither a miser nor a hj^ocrite — neither so 
fond of the goods of this world that he would not supply 



our distresses amply, nor so wedded to fanatical opinions 
as to exclude charity for other sects beside his own.' 

' Ay — ay, the Church of England is a sect with him, 
I doubt not, and perhaps with thee too, Alice,' said the 
knight. 'What is a Muggletonian, or a Ranter, or a 
Brownist, but a sectary? and thy phrase places them all 
with Jack Presbyter himself, on the same footing with 
our learned prelates and rehgious clergy! Such is the 
cant of the day thou livest in, and why shouldst thou 
not talk Kke one of the wise virgins and psalm-singing 
sisters, since though thou hast a profane old Cavalier 
for a father, thou art own niece to pious uncle Everard?' 

*If you speak thus, my dear father,' said Alice, 'what 
can I answer you? Hear me but one patient word, and 
I shall have discharged my uncle Everard's commis- 

'Oh, it is a commission then? Surely, I suspected so 
much from the beginning — nay, have some sharp guess 
touching the ambassador also. Come, madam the media- 
tor, do your errand, and you shall have no reason to 
complain of my patience.' 

'Then, sir,' replied this daughter, 'my uncle Everard 
desires you would be courteous to the Commissioners 
who come here to sequestrate the parks and the prop- 
erty, or, at least, heedfully to abstain from giving them 
obstacle or opposition; it can, he says, do no good, even 
on your own principles, and it will give a pretext for pro- 
ceeding against you as one in the worst degree of malig- 
nity, which he thinks may otherwise be prevented. Nay, 
he has good hope that, if you follow his counsel, the 
committee may, through the interest he possesses, be 
inclined to remove the sequestration of your estate on a 



moderate fine. Thus says my uncle; and having com- 
municated his advice, I have no occasion to urge your 
patience with further argument.' 

'It is well thou dost not, Alice,' answered Sir Henry 
Lee, in a tone of suppressed anger ; ' for, by the blessed 
Rood, thou hast wellnigh led me into the heresy of think- 
ing thee no daughter of mine. Ah ! my beloved companion, 
who art now far from the sorrows and cares of this weary 
world, couldst thou have thought that the daughter 
thou didst clasp to thy bosom would, like the wicked 
wife of Job, become a temptress to her father in the hour 
of aflfliction, and recommend to him to make his con- 
science truckle to his interest, and to beg back at the 
bloody hands of his master's, and perhaps his son's, 
murderers a wretched remnant of the royal property 
he has been robbed of? Why, wench, if I must beg, 
think'st thou I will sue to those who have made me a 
mendicant? No. I will never show my grey beard, worn 
in sorrow for my sovereign's death, to move the compas- 
sion of some proud sequestrator, who perhaps was one 
of the parricides. No; if Henry Lee must sue for food, 
it shall be of some sound loyalist like himself, who, hav- 
ing but half a loaf remaining, will not nevertheless refuse 
to share it with him. For his daughter, she may wander 
her own way, which leads her to a refuge with her wealthy 
Roundhead kinsfolk; but let her no more call him father 
whose honest indigence she has refused to share.' 

'You do me injustice, sir,' answered the young lady, 
with a voice animated, yet faltering — ' cruel injustice. 
God knows, your way is my way, though it leads to 
ruin and beggary ; and while you tread it, my arm shall 
support you while you will accept an aid so feeble.' 



'Thou word'st me, girl,' answered the old Cavalier 
— 'thou word'st me, as Will Shakespeare says: thou 
speakest of lending me thy arm; but thy secret thought 
is thyself to hang upon Markham Everard's.' 

*My father — my father,' answered AHce, in a tone of 
deep grief, * what can thus have altered your clear judg- 
ment and kindly heart? Accursed be these civil commo- 
tions! not only do they destroy men's bodies, but they 
pervert their souls; and the brave, the noble, the gener- 
ous become suspicious, harsh, and mean. Why upbraid 
me with Markham Everard? Have I seen or spoke to 
him since you forbid him my company, with terms less 
kind — I will speak it truly — than was due even to the 
relationship betwixt you? Why think I would sacrifice 
to that young man my duty to you? Know that, were I 
capable of such criminal weakness, Markham Everard 
were the first to despise me for it.' 

She put her handkerchief to her eyes, but she could 
not hide her sobs, nor conceal the distress they inti- 

The old man was moved. *I cannot tell,' he said, 
' what to think of it. Thou seem'st sincere, and wert ever 
a good and kindly daughter — how thou hast let that 
rebel youth creep into thy heart I wot not; perhaps it is 
a punishment on me, who thought the loyalty of my 
house was like undefiled ermine. Yet here is a damned 
spot, and on the fairest gem of all — my own dear Alice. 
But do not weep — we have enough to vex us. Where 
is it that Shakespeare hath it — 

Gentle daughter, 
Give even way unto my rough affairs; 
Put you not on the temper of the times, 
Nor be, like them, to Percy troublesome?* 


'I am glad/ answered the young lady, *to hear you 
quote your favourite again, sir. Our little jars are ever 
wellnigh ended when Shakespeare comes in play.' 

'His book was the closet-companion of my blessed 
master,' said Sir Henry Lee; 'after the Bible — with 
reverence for naming them together ! — he felt more 
comfort in it than in any other; and as I have shared his 
disease, why, it is natural I should take his medicine. 
Albeit, I pretend not to my master's art in explaining 
the dark passages ; for I am but a rude man, and rustic- 
ally brought up to arms and hunting.' 

'You have seen Shakespeare yourself, sir?' said the 
young lady. 

'Silly wench,' replied the knight, 'he died when I was 
a mere child — thou hast heard me say so twenty times; 
but thou wouldst lead the old man away from the tender 
subject. Well, though I am not blind, I can shut my eyes 
and follow. Ben Jonson I knew, and could tell thee 
many a tale of our meetings at the Mermaid, where, if 
there was much wine, there was much wit also. We did 
not sit blowing tobacco in each other's faces, and turning 
up the whites of our eyes as we turned up the bottom of 
the wine-pot. Old Ben adopted me as one of his sons in 
the muses. I have shown you, have I not, the verses, 
"To my much beloved son, the worshipful Sir Henry 
Lee of Ditchley, Knight and Baronet"?' 

*I do not remember them at present, sir,' replied Alice. 

'I fear ye lie, wench,' said her father; 'but no mattei 
— thou canst not get any more fooling out of me just 
now. The Evil Spirit hath left Saul for the present. We 
are now to think what is to be done about leaving Wood- 
stock — or defending it?' 



*My dearest father,' said Alice, 'can you still nourish 
a moment's hope of making good the place? ' 

'I know not, wench,' replied Sir Henry; 'I would fain 
have a parting blow with them, 'tis certain, 'and who 
knows where a blessing may alight? But then, my poor 
knaves that must take part with me in so hopeless a 
quarrel — that thought hampers me, I confess.' 

*0h, let it do so, sir,' replied Alice; 'there are soldiers 
in the town, and there are three regiments at Oxford.' 

'Ah, poor Oxford!' exclaimed Sir Henry, whose vacil- 
lating state of mind was turned by a word to any new 
subject that was suggested. 'Seat of learning and loy- 
alty! these rude soldiers are unfit inmates for thy learned 
halls and poetical bowers; but thy pure and brilHant 
lamp shall defy the foul breath of a thousand churls, were 
they to blow at it like Boreas. The burning bush shall 
not be consumed, even by the heat of this persecution.' 

'True, sir,' said Alice, 'and it may not be useless to 
recollect, that any stirring of the Royalists at this un- 
propitious moment will make' them deal yet more harshly 
with the university, which they consider as being at the 
bottom of everything which moves for the King in these 

'It is true, wench,' replied the knight; 'and small 
cause would make the villains sequestrate the poor 
remains which the civil wars have left to the colleges. 
That, and the risk of my poor fellows — Well, thou hast 
disarmed me, girl. I will be as patient and cakn as a 

' Pray God you keep your word, sir ! ' replied his daugh- 
ter; 'but you are ever so much moved at the sight of any 
of these men, that — ' 



'Would you make a child of me, Alice?' said Sir 
Henry. 'Why, know you not that I can look upon a 
viper, or a toad, or a bunch of engendering adders, with- 
out any worse feeling than a little disgust? and though 
a Roundhead, and especially a redcoat, are in my opin- 
ion more poisonous than vipers, more loathsome than 
toads, more hateful than knotted adders, yet can I over- 
come my nature so far, that, should one of them appear 
at this moment, thyself should see how civilly I would 
entreat him.' 

As he spoke, the military preacher abandoned his 
leafy screen, and, stalking forward, stood unexpectedly 
before the old Cavalier, who stared at him, as if he had 
thought his expressions had actually raised the devil. 

* Who art thou? ' at length said Sir Henry, in a raised 
and angry voice, while his daughter clung to his arm in 
terror, little confident that her father's pacific resolu- 
tions would abide the shock of this unwelcome appari- 

*I am one,' replied the soldier, 'who neither fear nor 
shame to call myself a poor day-labourer in the great 
work of England — umph! Ay, a simple and sincere 
upholder of the good old cause.' 

* And what the devil do you seek here? ' said the old 
knight, fiercely. 

'The welcome due to the steward of the Lords Com- 
missioners,' answered the soldier. 

'Welcome art thou as salt would be to sore eyes,' said 
the Cavalier. ' But who be your Commissioners, man? * 

The soldier with little courtesy held out a scroll, which 
Sir Henry took from him betwixt his finger and thumb, 
as if it were a letter from a pest-house; and held it at as 



much distance from his eyes as his purpose of reading it 
would permit. He then read aloud, and as he named 
the parties one by one, he added a short commentary on 
each name, addressed, indeed, to Alice, but in such a 
tone that showed he cared not for its being heard by the 

^ Deshorough — the ploughman Desborough — as grov- 
elling a clown as is in England — a fellow that would 
be best at home, like an ancient Scythian, under the tilt 
of a waggon; d — n him. Harrison, a bloody-minded, 
ranting enthusiast, who read the Bible to such purpose, 
that he never lacked a text to justify a murder; d — n, 
him too. Bletson — a true-blue Commonwealth's man, 
one of Harrison's Rota Club, with his noddle full of new- 
fangled notions about government, the clearest object of 
which is to establish the tail upon the head; a fellow 
who leaves you the statutes and law of old England, to 
prate of Rome and Greece — sees the Areopagus in West- 
minster Hall, and takes Old Noll for a Roman consul. 
Adad, he is like to prove a dictator amongst them in- 
stead. Never mind; d — n Bletson too.' 

' Friend,' said the soldier, * I would willingly be civil, 
but it consists not with my duty to hear these godly men, 
in whose service I am, spoken of after this irreverent and 
unbecoming fashion. And albeit I know that you Malig- 
nants think you have a right to make free with that dam- 
nation which you seem to use as your own portion, yet it 
is superfluous to invoke it against others, who have bet- 
ter hopes in their thoughts and better words in their 

'Thou art but a canting varlet,' replied the knight; 
' and yet thou art right in some sense ; for it is superflu- 



ous to curse men who already are damned as black as 
the smoke of hell itself.' 

*I prithee forbear,' continued the soldier, 'for man- 
ners' sake, if not for conscience : grisly oaths suit ill with 
grey beards.' 

'Nay, that is truth, if the devil spoke it,' said the 
knight; 'and I thank Heaven I can follow good counsel, 
though Old Nick gives it. And so, friend, touching these 
same Commissioners, bear them this message: that Sir 
Henry Lee is keeper of Woodstock Park, with right of 
waif and stray, vert and venison, as complete as any of 
them have to their estate — that is, if they possess any 
estate but what they have gained by plundering honest 
men — nevertheless, he will give place to those who have 
made their might their right, and will not expose the 
lives of good and true men, where the odds are so much 
against them. And he protests that he makes this sur- 
render, neither as acknowledging of these so termed Com- 
missioners, nor as for his own individual part fearing 
their force, but purely to avoid the loss of English blood, 
of which so much hath been spilt in these late times.' 

'It is well spoken,' said the steward of the Commis- 
sioners; 'and therefore, I pray you, let us walk together 
into the house, that thou mayst deliver up unto me the 
vessels, and gold and silver ornaments, belonging unto the 
Egyptian Pharaoh who committed them to thy keeping.' 

'What vessels?' exclaimed the fiery old knight; 'and 
belonging to whom? Unbaptized dog, speak civil of the 
Martyr in my presence, or I will do a deed misbecom- 
ing of me on that caitiff corpse of thine ! ' And shaking 
his daughter from his right arm, the old man laid his 
hand on his rapier. 

»7 33 


His antagonist, on the contrary, kept his temper com- 
pletely, and waving his hand to add impression to his 
speech, he said, with a calmness which aggravated Sir 
Henry's wrath, * Nay, good friend, I prithee be still, and 
brawl not: it becomes not grey hairs and feeble arms to 
rail and rant hke drunkards. Put me not to use the 
carnal weapon in mine own defence, but listen to the 
voice of reason. Seest thou not that the Lord hath de- 
cided this great controversy in favour of us and ours, 
against thee and thine? Wherefore render up thy stew- 
ardship peacefully, and deliver up to me the chattels of 
the Man, Charles Stuart.' 

'Patience is a good nag, but she will bolt,' said the 
knight, unable longer to rein in his wrath. He plucked 
his sheathed rapier from his side, struck the soldier a 
severe blow with it, and instantly drawing it, and throw- 
ing the scabbard over the trees, placed himself in a pos- 
ture of defence, with his sword's point within half a yard 
of the steward's body. The latter stepped back with 
activity, threw his long cloak from his shoulders, and 
drawing his long tuck, stood upon his guard. The swords 
clashed smartly together, while Alice, in her terror, 
screamed wildly for assistance. But the combat was of 
short duration. The old Cavalier had attacked a man 
as cunning of fence as he himself, or a little more so, and 
possessing all the strength and activity of which time 
had deprived Sir Henry, and the calmness which the 
other had lost in his passion. They had scarce exchanged 
three passes ere the sword of the knight flew up in the air 
as if it had gone in search of the scabbard ; and burning 
with shame and anger, Sir Henry stood disarmed, at the 
mercy of his antagonist. The republican showed no pur- 



pose of abusing his victory; nor did he, either during the 
combat or after the victory was won, in any respect alter 
the sour and grave composure which reigned upon his 
countenance : a combat of life and death seemed to him 
a thing as familiar, and as Httle to be feared, as an ordin- 
ary bout with foils. 

'Thou art deHvered into my hands,' he said, 'and by 
the law of arms I might smite thee under the fifth rib, 
even as Asahel was struck dead by Abner, the son of Ner, 
as he followed the chase on the hill of Ammah, that 
lieth before Giah, in the way of the wilderness of Gibeon, 
but far be it from me to spill thy remaining drops of 
blood. True it is, thou art the captive of my sword and 
of my spear; nevertheless, seeing that there may be a 
turning from thine evil ways, and a returning to those 
which are good, if the Lord enlarge thy date for repent- 
ance and amendment, wherefore should it be shortened 
by a poor sinful mortal, who is, speaking truly, but thy 

Sir Henry Lee remained still confused and unable to 
answer, when there arrived a fourth person, whom the 
cries of Alice had summoned to the spot. This was Joce- 
line Joliffe, one of the under-keepers of the walk, who, 
seeing how matters stood, brandished his quarterstaff, 
a weapon from which he never parted, and having made 
it describe the figure of eight in a flourish through the 
air, would have brought it down with a vengeance upon 
the head of the steward, had not Sir Henry interposed. 

*We must trail bats now, Joceline, our time of shoul- 
dering them is past. It skills not striving against the 
stream: the devil rules the roast, and makes our slaves 
our tutors.' 



At this moment another auxiliary rushed out of the 
thicket to the knight's assistance. It was a large wolf- 
dog, in strength a mastiff, in form and almost in fleetness 
a greyhound. Bevis was the noblest of the kind which 
ever pulled down a stag, tawny-coloured Hke a lion, with 
a black muzzle and black feet, just edged with a line of 
white round the toes. He was as tractable as he was 
strong and bold. Just as he was about to rush upon the 
soldier, the words, 'Peace, Bevis!' from Sir Henry con- 
verted the lion into a lamb, and, instead of pulHng the 
soldier down, he walked round and round, and snuffed, 
as if using all his sagacity to discover who the stranger 
could be towards whom, though of so questionable an 
appearance, he was enjoined forbearance. Apparently 
he was satisfied, for he laid aside his doubtful and threat- 
ening demonstrations, lowered his ears, smoothed down 
his bristles, and wagged his tail. 

Sir Henry, who had great respect for the sagacity of 
his favourite, said in a low voice to AHce, * Bevis is of thy 
opinion, and counsels submission. There is the finger of 
Heaven in this to punish the pride ever the fault of our 
house. Friend,' he continued, addressing the soldier, 
* thou hast given the finishing touch to a lesson which 
ten years of constant misfortune have been unable fully 
to teach me. Thou hast distinctly shown me the folly of 
thinking that a good cause can strengthen a weak arm. 
God forgive me for the thought, but I could almost turn 
infidel, and believe that Heaven's blessing goes ever with 
the longest sword. But it will not be always thus. God 
knows His time. Reach me my Toledo, Joceline, yonder 
it lies; and the scabbard, see where it hangs on the tree. 
Do not pull at my cloak, Alice, and look so miserably 



frightened: I shall be in no hurry to betake me to bright 
steel again, I promise thee. For thee, good fellow, I 
thank thee, and will make way for thy masters without 
further dispute or ceremony. Joceline Joliffe is nearer 
thy degree than I am, and will make surrender to thee of 
the lodge and household stuff. Withhold nothing, Joliflfe : 
let them have all. For me, I will never cross the thresh- 
old again. But where to rest for a night? I would trou- 
ble no one in Woodstock; hum — ay — it shall be so. 
Alice and I, Joceline, will go down to thy hut by Rosa- 
mond's Well: we will borrow the shelter of thy roof for 
one night at least; thou wilt give us welcome, wilt thou 
not? How now — a clouded brow? ' 

Joceline certainly looked embarrassed, directed first a 
glance to AHce, then looked to heaven, then to earth, and 
last to the four quarters of the horizon, and then mur- 
mured out, * Certainly — without question — might he 
but run down to put the house in order.' 

' Order enough — order enough, for those that may 
soon be glad of clean straw in a barn,' said the knight. 
*But if thou hast an ill-will to harbour any obnoxious or 
malignant persons, as the phrase goes, never shame to 
speak it out, man. 'Tis true, I took thee up when thou 
wert but a ragged Robin, ^ made a keeper of thee, and so 
forth. What of that? Sailors think no longer of the wind 
than when it forwards them on the voyage: thy betters 
turn with the tide, why should not such a poor knave as 

' God pardon your honour for your harsh judgment,' 
said Johffe. ' The hut is yours, such as it is, and should 

^ The keeper's followers in the New Forest are called in popular lan- 
guage ' ragged Robins.' 



be were it a king's palace, as I wish it were, even for your 
honour's sake and Mistress Alice's; only I could wish 
your honour would condescend to let me step down be- 
fore, in case any neighbour be there — or — or — just 
to put matters something into order for Mistress Alice 
and your honour — just to make things something 
seemly and shapely.' 

'Not a whit necessary,' said the knight, while Alice 
had much trouble in concealing her agitation. 'If thy 
matters are unseemly, they are fitter for a defeated 
knight; if they are unshapely, why, the liker to the rest 
of a world which is all unshaped. Go thou with that 
man. What is thy name, friend?' 

'Joseph Tomkins is my name in the flesh,' said the 
steward. 'Men call me Honest Joe and Trusty Tomkins.' 

'If thou hast deserved such names, considering what 
trade thou hast driven, thou art a jewel indeed,' said the 
knight; 'yet if thou hast not, never blush for the matter, 
Joseph, for if thou art not in truth honest, thou hast all 
the better chance to keep the fame of it: the title and 
the thing itself have long walked separate ways. Fare- 
well to thee — and farewell to fair Woodstock ! ' 

So sajdng, the old knight turned round, and pulling 
his daughter's arm through his own, they walked on- 
ward into the forest, in the same manner in which they 
were introduced to the reader. 


Now, ye wild blades, that make loose inns your stage, 
To vapour forth the acts of this sad age, 
Stout Edgehiii fight, the Newberries and the West, 
And northern clashes, where you still fought best. 
Your strange escapes, your dangers void of fear, 
When bullets flew between the head and ear. 
Whether you fought by Damme or the Spirit, 
Of you I speak. 

Legend of Captain Jones. 

Joseph Tomkins and Joliffe the keeper remained foi 
some time in silence, as they stood together looking 
along the path in which the figures of the knight of 
Ditchley and pretty Mistress Alice had disappeared be- 
hind the trees. They then gazed on each other in doubt, 
as men who scarce knew whether they stood on hostile 
or on friendly terms together, and were at a loss how to 
open a conversation. They heard the knight's whistle 
summon Bevis; but though the good hound turned his 
head and pricked his ears at the sound, yet he did not 
obey the call, but continued to snuff around Joseph 
Tomkins's cloak. 

'Thou art a rare one, I fear me,' said the keeper, look- 
ing to his new acquaintance. *I have heard of men who 
have charms to steal both dogs and deer.' 

'Trouble not thyself about my qualities, friend,' said 
Joseph Tomkins, 'but bethink thee of doing thy master's 

Joceline did not immediately answer, but at length, as 
if in sign of truce, stuck the end of his quarterstaff up- 
right in the ground, and leant upon it, as he said grufifly, 



'So, my tough old knight and you were at drawn bilbo, 
by way of afternoon service, sir preacher. Well for you 
I came not up till the blades were done jingling, or I had 
rung even-song upon your pate.' 

The Independent smiled grimly as he replied, ' Nay, 
friend, it is well for thyself, for never should sexton have 
been better paid for the knell he tolled. Nevertheless, 
why should there be war betwixt us, or my hand be 
against thine? Thou art but a poor knave, doing thy 
master's order, nor have I any desire that my own blood 
or thine should be shed touching this matter. Thou art, 
I imderstand, to give me peaceful possession of the 
Palace of Woodstock, so called; though there is now no 
palace in England, no, nor shall be in the days that 
come after, until we shall enter the palace of the New 
Jerusalem, and the reign of the saints shall commence 
on earth.' 

'Pretty well begun already, friend Tomkins,' said the 
keeper: 'you are little short of being kings already upon 
the matter as it now stands; and for your Jerusalem I 
wot no, but Woodstock is a pretty nest-egg to begin with. 
Well, will you shog — will you on — will you take sasine 
and livery? You heard my orders.' 

' Umph — I know not,' said Tomkins. ' I must beware 
of ambuscades, and I am alone here. Moreover, it is the 
High Thanksgiving appointed by Parhament, and owned 
to by the army; also the old man and the young wo- 
man may want to recover some of their clothes and per- 
sonal property, and I would not that they were baulked 
on my account. Wherefore, if thou wilt deHver me pos- 
session to-morrow morning, it shall be done in personal 
presence of my own followers, and of the Presbyterian 



man the Mayor, so that the transfer may be made before 
witnesses; whereas, were there none with us but thou to 
deliver and I to take possession, the men of Belial might 
say, " Go to. Trusty Tomkins hath been an Edomite — 
Honest Joe hath been as an IshmaeKte, rising up early 
and dividing the spoil with them that served the Man — • 
yea, they that wore beards and green jerkins, as in re- 
membrance of the Man and of his government.'" 

Joceline fixed his keen dark eyes upon the soldier as 
he spoke, as if in design to discover whether there was 
fair play in his mind or not. He then applied his five 
fingers to scratch a large shock head of hair, as if that 
operation was necessary to enable him to come to a 
conclusion. 'This is all fair sounding, brother,' said he; 
'but I tell you plainly, there are some silver mugs, and 
platters, and flagons, and so forth, in yonder house, which 
have survived the general sweep that sent all our plate to 
the smelting-pot, to put our knight's troop on horseback. 
Now, if thou takest not these off my hand, I may come 
to trouble, since it may be thought I have minished their 
numbers. Whereas, I being as honest a fellow — ' 

'As ever stole venison,' said Tomkins; 'nay, I do owe 
thee an interruption.' 

' Go to, then,' replied the keeper; 'if a stag may have 
come to mischance in my walk, it was no way in the 
course of dishonesty, but merely to keep my old dame's 
pan from rusting; but for silver porringers, tankards, 
and such-like, I would as soon have drunk the melted 
silver as stolen the vessel made out of it. So that I would 
not wish blame or suspicion fell on me in this matter. 
And therefore, if you will have the things rendered even 
now — why so; and if not, hold me blameless.' 



'Ay, truly?' said Tomkins; 'and who is to hold me 
blameless, if they should see cause to think anything 
minished? Not the right worshipful Commissioners, to 
whom the property of the estate is as their own; there- 
fore, as thou say'st, we must walk warily in the matter. 
To lock up the house and leave it were but the work of 
simple ones. What say'st thou to spend the night there, 
and then nothing can be touched without the knowledge 
of us both?' 

*Why, concerning that,' answered the keeper, *I 
should be at my hut to make matters somewhat con- 
formable for the old knight and Mistress Alice, for my 
old dame Joan is something dunny, and will scarce know 
how to manage; and yet, to speak the truth, by the mass, 
I would rather not see Sir Henry to-night, since what has 
happened to-day hath roused his spleen, and it is a per- 
adventure he may have met something at the hut which 
will scarce tend to cool it.' 

'It is a pity,' said Tomkins, 'that, being a gentleman 
of such grave and goodly presence, he should be such a 
malignant Cavalier, and that he should, like the rest of 
that generation of vipers, have clothed himself with 
curses as with a garment.' 

'Which is as much as to say, the tough old knight 
hath a habit of swearing,' said the keeper, grinning at 
a pun which has been repeated since his time; 'but 
who can help it? it comes of use and wont. Were you 
now, in your bodily self, to Hght suddenly on a Maypole, 
with all the blythe morris-dancers prancing around it 
to the merry pipe and tabor, with bells jingling, ribands 
fluttering, lads frisking and laughing, lasses leaping till 
you might see where the scarlet garter fastened the light- 



blue hose, I think some feeling, resembling either natural 
sociality or old use and wont, would get the better, 
friend, even of thy gravity, and thou wouldst fling thy 
cuckoldy steeple-hat one way and that bloodthirsty long 
sword another, and trip like the noodles of Hogs-Norton 
when the pigs play on the organ.' 

The Independent turned fiercely round on the keeper 
and replied, 'How now, Mr. Green Jerkin, what lan- 
guage is this to one whose hand is at the plough? I ad- 
vise thee to put curb on thy tongue, lest thy ribs pay the 

'Nay, do not take the high tone with me, brother,* 
answered Joceline; 'remember thou hast not the old 
knight of sixty-five to deal with, but a fellow as bitter 
and prompt as thyself — it may be a Httle more so 
— younger, at all events; and prithee, why shouldst 
thou take such umbrage at a Maypole? I would thou 
hadst known one Phil Hazeldine of these parts. He was 
the best morris-dancer betwixt Oxford and Burford.' 

'The more shame to him,' answered the Independent; 
*and I trust he has seen the error of his ways, and made 
himself (if as, a man of action, he easily might) fit for 
better company than wood-hunters, deer-stealers, Maid 
Marions, swashbucklers, deboshed revellers, bloody 
brawlers, maskers and mummers, lewd men and light 
women, fools and fiddlers, and carnal self-pleasers of 
every description.' 

'Well,' repHed the keeper, 'you are out of breath in 
time; for here we stand before the famous Maypole of 

They paused in an open space of meadow-land, beau- 
tifully skirted by large oaks and sycamores, one of which, 



as king of the forest, stood a little detached from the 
rest, as if scorning the vicinity of any rival. It was 
scathed and gnarled in the branches, but the immense 
trunk still showed to what gigantic size the monarch of 
the forest can attain in the groves of Merry England. 

'That is called the King's Oak,' said Joceline; 'the 
oldest men of Woodstock know not how old it is : they 
say Henry used to sit under it with Fair Rosamond, and 
see the lasses dance, and the lads of the village run 
races, and wrestle for belts or bonnets.' 

'I nothing doubt it, friend,' said Tomkins: 'a tyrant 
and a harlot were fitting patron and patroness for such 

'Thou mayst say thy say, friend,' replied the keeper, 
' so thou lettest me say mine. There stands the Maypole, 
as thou seest, half a flight-shot from the King's Oak, in 
the midst of the meadow. The King gave ten shillings 
from the customs of Woodstock to make a new one 
yearly, besides a tree fitted for the purpose out of the 
forest. Now it is warped, and withered and twisted, Uke 
a wasted brier-rod. The green, too, used to be close- 
shaved, and rolled till it was smooth as a velvet mantle; 
now it is rough and overgrown.' 

'Well — well, friend Joceline,' said the Independent, 
' but where was the edification of all this? What use of 
doctrine could be derived from a pipe and tabor; or was 
there ever aught Hke wisdom in a bagpipe? ' 

'You may ask better scholars that,' said Joceline; 
'but methinks men cannot be always grave, and with 
the hat over their brow. A young maiden will laugh as a 
tender flower will blow — ay, and a lad will like her the 
better for it: just as the same blythe spring that makes 



the young birds whistle bids the blythe fawns skip. 
There have come worse days since the jolly old times 
have gone by. I tell thee, that in the holydays which 
you, Mr. Long-sword, have put down, I have seen this 
greensward alive with merry maidens and manly fellows. 
The good old rector himself thought it was no sin to 
come for a while and look on, and his goodly cassock and 
scarf kept us all in good order, and taught us to limit our 
mirth within the bounds of discretion. We might, it may 
be, crack a broad jest, or pledge a friendly cup a turn too 
often, but it was in mirth and good neighbourhood. Ay, 
and if there was a bout at singlestick, or a bellyful of 
boxing, it was all for love and kindness ; and better a few 
dry blows in drink than the bloody doings we have had 
in sober earnest, since the presbyter's cap got above the 
bishop's mitre, and we exchanged our goodly rectors 
and learned doctors, whose sermons were all bolstered 
up with as much Greek and Latin as might have con- 
founded the devil himself, for weavers and cobblers, and 
such other pulpit volunteers as — as we heard this 
morning. It will out.' 

'Well, friend,' said the Independent, with patience 
scarcely to have been expected, 'I quarrel not with thee 
for nauseating my doctrine. If thine ear is so much 
tickled with tabor tunes and morris-tripping, truly it is 
not likely thou shouldst find pleasant savour in more 
wholesome and sober food. But let us to the lodge, that 
we may go about our business there before the sun sets.' 

'Troth, and that may be advisable for more reasons 
than one,' said the keeper; 'for there have been tales 
about the lodge which have made men afeard to harbour 
there after nightfall.' 



'Were not yon old knight and yonder damsel, his 
daughter, wont to dwell there?' said the Independent. 
*My information said so.' 

*Ay, truly, did they,' said Joceline; 'and while they 
kept a jolly household, all went well enough; for nothing 
banishes fear Hke good ale. But after the best of our men 
went to the wars, and were slain at Naseby fight, they 
who were left found the lodge more lonesome, and 
the old knight has been much deserted of his servants: 
marry, it might be, that he has lacked silver of late to pay 
groom and lackey.' 

* A potential reason for the diminution of a household,' 
said the soldier. 

'Right, sir, even so,' replied the keeper. * They spoke 
of steps in the great gallery, heard by dead of the night, 
and voices that whispered at noon in the matted cham- 
bers ; and the servants pretended that these things scared 
them away; but, in my poor judgment, when Martin- 
mas and Whitsuntide came round without a penny-fee, 
the old blue-bottles of serving-men began to think of 
creeping elsewhere before the frost chilled them. No 
devil so frightful as that which dances in the pocket 
where there is no cross to keep him out.' 

'You were reduced, then, to a petty household?' said 
the Independent. 

' Ay, marry, were we,' said Joceline ; ' but we kept some 
half -score together, what with blue-bottles in the lodge, 
what with green caterpillars of the chase, like him who 
is yours to command : we stuck together till we found a 
call to take a morning's ride somewhere or other.' 

' To the town of Worcester,' said the soldier, * where you 
were crushed like vermin and palmer- worms, as you are? ' 



'You may say your pleasure,' replied the keeper: 'I'll 
never contradict a man who has got my head under his 
belt. Our backs are at the wall, or you would not be 

'Nay, friend,' said the Independent, 'thou riskest no- 
thing by thy freedom and trust in me. I can be bon 
camarado to a good soldier, although I have striven with 
him even to the going down of the sun. But here we are 
in front of the lodge.' 

They stood accordingly in front of the old Gothic 
building, irregularly constructed, and at different times, 
as the humour of the old EngHsh monarchs led them to 
taste the pleasures of Woodstock Chase, and to make 
such improvements for their own accommodation as the 
increasing luxury of each age required. The oldest part 
of the structure had been named by tradition Fair Rosa- 
mond's Tower; it was a small turret of great height, with 
narrow windows, and walls of massive thickness. The 
tower had no opening to the ground, or means of descend- 
ing, a great part of the lower portion being solid mason- 
work. It was traditionally said to have been accessible 
only by a sort of small drawbridge, which might be 
dropped at pleasure from a little portal near the summit 
of the turret to the battlements of another tower of the 
same construction, but twenty feet lower, and contain- 
ing only a winding staircase, called in Woodstock Love's 
Ladder; because it is said that, by ascending this stair- 
case to the top of the tower, and then making use of the 
drawbridge, Henry obtained access to the chamber of 
his paramour. 

This tradition had been keenly impugned by Dr. 
Rochecliffe, the former rector of Woodstock, who in- 



sisted that what was called Rosamond's Tower was 
merely an interior keep, or citadel, to which the lord or 
warden of the castle might retreat when other points of 
safety failed him, and either protract his defence or, at 
the worst, stipulate for reasonable terms of surrender. 
The people of Woodstock, jealous of their ancient tra- 
ditions, did not rehsh this new mode of explaining them 
away; and it is even said that the Mayor, whom we have 
already introduced, became Presbyterian in revenge of 
the doubts cast by the rector upon this important sub- 
ject, rather choosing to give up the liturgy than his fixed 
belief in Rosamond's Tower and Love's Ladder. 

The rest of the lodge was of considerable extent, and 
of different ages, comprehending a nest of little courts, 
surrounded by buildings which corresponded with each 
other, sometimes within doors, sometimes by crossing 
the courts, and frequently in both ways. The different 
heights of the buildings announced that they could only 
be connected by the usual variety of staircases, which 
exercised the limbs of our ancestors in the sixteenth and 
earlier centuries, and seem sometimes to have been 
contrived for no other purpose. 

The varied and multiplied fronts of this irregular 
building were, as Dr. Rochecliffe was wont to say, an ab- 
solute banquet to the architectural antiquary, as they 
certainly contained specimens of every style which ex- 
isted, from the pure Norman of Henry of Anjou down 
to the composite, half-Gothic, half-classical architecture 
of Elizabeth and her successor. Accordingly, the rector 
was himself as much enamoured of Woodstock as ever 
was Henry of Fair Rosamond; and as his intimacy with 
Sir Henr}^ Lee permitted him entrance at all times to the 



royal lodge, he used to spend whole days in wandering 
about the antique apartments, examining, measuring, 
studying, and finding out excellent reasons for architect- 
ural peculiarities, which probably only owed their ex- 
istence to the freakish fancy of a Gothic artist. But the 
old antiquarian had been expelled from his living by the 
intolerance and troubles of the times, and his successor, 
Nehemiah Holdenough, would have considered an elab- 
orate investigation of the profane sculpture and archi- 
tecture of blinded and bloodthirsty Papists, together 
with the history of the dissolute amours of old Norman 
monarchs, as little better than a bowing down before the 
calves of Bethel, and a drinking of the cup of abomina- 

We return to the course of our story. 

'There is,' said the Independent Tomkins, after he 
had carefully perused the front of the building, 'many a 
rare monument of olden wickedness about this miscalled 
royal lodge; verily, I shall rejoice much to see the same 
destroyed, yea, burned to ashes, and the ashes thrown 
into the brook Kedron, or any other brook, that the 
land may be cleansed from the memory thereof, neither 
remember the iniquity with which their fathers have 

The keeper heard him with secret indignation, and 
began to consider with himself whether, as they stood 
but one to one, and without chance of speedy interfer- 
ence, he was not called upon, by his official duty, to cas- 
tigate the rebel who used language so defamatory. But 
he fortunately recollected that the strife must be a doubt- 
ful one, that the advantage of arms was against him, 
and, that, in especial, even if he should succeed in the 

37 49 


combat, it would be at the risk of severe retaliation. It 
must be owned, too, that there was something about the 
Independent so dark and mysterious, so grim and grave, 
that the more open spirit of the keeper felt oppressed, 
and, if not overawed, at least kept in doubt concerning 
him; and he thought it wisest, as well as safest, for his 
master and himself, to avoid all subjects of dispute, and 
know better with whom he was dealing before he made 
either friend or enemy of him. 

The great gate of the lodge was strongly bolted, 
but the wicket opened on Joceline's raising the latch. 
There was a short passage of ten feet, which had been 
formerly closed by a portcullis at the inner end, while 
three loopholes opened on either side, through which 
any daring intruder might be annoyed, who, having sur- 
prised the first gate, must be thus exposed to a severe 
fire before he could force the second. But the machinery 
of the portcullis was damaged, and it now remained a 
fixture, brandishing its jaw, well furnished with iron 
fangs, but incapable of dropping it across the path of 

The way, therefore, lay open to the great hall or outer 
vestibule of the lodge. One end of this long and dusky 
apartment was entirely occupied by a gallery, which had 
in ancient times served to accommodate the musicians 
and minstrels. There was a clumsy staircase at either 
side of it, composed of entire logs of a foot square; and 
in each angle of the ascent was placed, by way of senti- 
nel, the figure of a Norman foot-soldier, having an open 
casque on his head, which displayed features as stern as 
the painter's genius could devise. Their arms were buff- 
jackets or shirts of mail, round bucklers, with spikes in 



the centre, and buskins which adorned and defended the 
feet and ankles, but left the knees bare. These wooden 
warders held great swords, or maces, in their hands, like 
military guards on duty. Many an empty hook and 
brace, along the walls of the gloomy apartment, marked 
the spots from which arms, long preserved as trophies, 
had been, in the pressure of the war, once more taken 
down to do service in the field, like veterans whom ex- 
tremity of danger recalls to battle. On other rusty fast- 
enings were still displayed the hunting trophies of the 
monarchs to whom the lodge belonged, and of the silvan 
knights to whose care it had been from time to time 

At the nether end of the hall, a huge, heavy, stone- 
wrought chimney-piece projected itself ten feet from the 
wall, adorned with many a cipher and many a scutcheon 
of the royal house of England. In its present state, it 
yawned like the arched mouth of a funeral vault, or 
perhaps might be compared to the crater of an extin- 
guished volcano. But the sable complexion of the mass- 
ive stonework, and all around it, showed that the time 
had been when it sent its huge fires blazing up the huge 
chimney, besides puffing many a volume of smoke over 
the heads of the jovial guests, whose royalty or nobility 
did not render them sensitive enough to quarrel with 
such slight inconvenience. On these occasions, it was 
the tradition of the house, that two cart-loads of wood 
was the regular allowance for the fire between noon and 
curfew, and the andirons, or dogs, as they were termed, 
constructed for retaining the blazing firewood on the 
hearth, were wrought in the shape of Hons of such gigan- 
tic size as might well warrant the legend. There were 



long seats of stone within the chimney, where, in despite 
of the tremendous heat, monarchs were sometimes said 
to have taken their station, and amused themselves with 
broiling the umbles, or dowsets, of the deer upon the 
glowing embers, with their own royal hands, when 
happy the courtier who was invited to taste the royal 
cookery. Tradition was here also ready with her record, 
to show what merry gibes, such as might be exchanged 
between prince and peer, had flown about at the jolly 
banquet which followed the Michaelmas hunt. She 
could tell, too, exactly, where King Stephen sat when 
he darned his own princely hose, and knew most of the 
odd tricks he had put upon little Winkin, the tailor of 

Most of this rude revelry belonged to the Plantagenet 
times. When the house of Tudor acceded to the throne, 
they were more chary of their royal presence, and feasted 
in halls and chambers far within, abandoning the out- 
most hall to the yeomen of the guard, who mounted 
their watch there, and passed away the night with was- 
sail and mirth, exchanged sometimes for frightful tales 
of apparitions and sorceries, which made some of those 
grow pale in whose ears the trumpet of a French foeman 
would have sounded as jollily as a summons to the wood- 
land chase. 

Joceline pointed out the peculiarities of the place to his 
gloomy companion more briefly than we have detailed 
them to the reader. 

The Independent seemed to listen with some interest 
at first, but, flinging it suddenly aside, he said, in a sol- 
emn tone, 'Perish, Babylon, as thy master Nebuchad- 
nezzar hath perished! He is a wanderer, and thou shalt 



be a waste place — yea, and a wilderness — yea, a 
desert of salt, in which there shall be thirst and famine.' 

' There is like to be enough of both to-night,' said Joce- 
line, 'unless the good knight's larder be somewhat fuller 
than it is wont.' 

'We must care for the creature-comforts,' said the 
Independent, 'but in due season, when our duties are 
done. Whither lead these entrances? ' 

'That to the right,' replied the keeper, 'leads to what 
are called the state-apartments, not used since the year 
1639, when his blessed Majesty — ' 

* How, sir ! ' interrupted the Independent, in a voice of 
thunder, ' dost thou speak of Charles Stuart as blessing, 
or blessed? Beware the proclamation to that effect.' 

'I meant no harm,' answered the keeper, suppressing 
his disposition to make a harsher reply. ' My business is 
with bolts and bucks, not with titles and state affairs. 
But yet, whatever may have happed since, that poor 
king was followed with blessings enough from Wood- 
stock; for he left a glove full of broad pieces for the poor 
of the place — ' 

'Peace, friend,' said the Independent; 'I will think 
thee else one of those besotted and blinded Papists who 
hold that bestowing of alms is an atonement and wash- 
ing away of the wrongs and oppressions which have been 
wrought by the almsgiver. Thou sayest, then, these 
were the apartments of Charles Stuart?' 

' And of his father, James, before him, and EHzabeth, 
before him, and bluff King Henry, who builded that 
wing, before them all.' 

'And there, I suppose, the knight and his daughter 



'No,' replied Joceline; 'Sir Henry Lee had too much 
reverence for — for things which are now thought worth 
no reverence at all. Besides, the state-rooms are unaired 
and in indifferent order since of late years. The knight 
ranger's apartment lies by that passage to the left.' 

'And whither goes yonder stair, which seems both 
to lead upwards and downwards? ' 

' Upwards/ repHed the keeper, *it leads to many apart- 
ments, used for various purposes, of sleeping and other 
accommodation. Downwards, to the kitchen, offices, 
and vaults of the castle, which, at this time of the even- 
ing, you cannot see without lights.' 

'We will to the apartments of your knight, then,' 
said the Independent. ' Is there fitting accommodation 
there ? ' 

'Such as has served a person of condition, whose 
lodging is now worse appointed,' answered the honest 
keeper, his bile rising so fast that he added, in a mutter- 
ing and inaudible tone, 'So it may well serve a crop- 
eared knave like thee.' 

He acted as the usher, however, and led on towards 
the ranger's apartments. 

This suite opened by a short passage from the hall, 
secured at time of need by two oaken doors, which could 
be fastened by large bars of the same, that were drawn 
out of the wall, and entered into square holes, contrived 
for their reception on the other side of the portal. At 
the end of this passage, a small anteroom received them, 
into which opened the sitting-apartment of the good 
knight, which, in the style of the times, might have been 
termed a fair summer parlour, lighted by two oriel win- 
dows, so placed as to command each of them a separate 



avenue, leading distant and deep into the forest. The 
principal ornament of the apartment, besides two or 
three family portraits of less interest, was a tall full- 
length picture that hung above the chimney-piece, 
which, like that in the hall, was of heavy stonework, 
ornamented with carved scutcheons, emblazoned with 
various devices. The portrait was that of a man about 
fifty years of age, in complete plate armour, and painted 
in the harsh and dry manner of Holbein, probably, in- 
deed, the work of that artist, as the dates corresponded. 
The formal and marked angles, points, and projections 
of the armour were a good subject for the harsh pencil of 
that early school. The face of the knight was, from the 
fading of the colours, pale and dim, like that of some 
being from the other world, yet the lines expressed for- 
cibly pride and exultation. 

He pointed with his leading-staff, or tnmcheon, to the 
background, where, in such perspective as the artist 
possessed, were depicted the remains of a burning church, 
or monastery, and four or five soldiers, in red cassocks, 
bearing away in triumph what seemed a brazen font or 
laver. Above their heads might be traced in scroll, ' Lee 
Victor sic voluiL' Right opposite to the picture hung, 
in a niche in the wall, a complete set of tilting-armour, 
the black and gold colours and ornaments of which 
exactly corresponded with those exhibited in the por- 

The picture was one of those which, from something 
marked in the features and expression, attract the ob- 
servation even of those who are ignorant of art. The 
Independent looked at it until a smile passed transiently 
over his clouded brow. Whether he smiled to see the 



grim old cavalier employed in desecrating a religious 
house (an occupation much conforming to the practice 
of his own sect), whether he smiled in contempt of the 
old painter's harsh and dry mode of working, or whether 
the sight of this remarkable portrait revived some other 
ideas, the under-keeper could not decide. 

The smile passed away in an instant, as the soldier 
looked to the oriel windows. The recesses within them 
were raised a step or two from the wall. In one was 
placed a walnut-tree reading-desk, and a huge stuffed 
arm-chair, covered with Spanish leather. A little cabi- 
net stood beside, with some of its shuttles and drawers 
open, displaying hawks'-bells, dog-whistles, instruments 
for trimming falcon's feathers, bridle-bits of various 
constructions, and other trifles connected with silvan 

The other little recess was differently furnished. 
There lay some articles of needlework on a small table, 
besides a lute, with a book having some airs written 
down in it, and a frame for working embroidery. Some 
tapestry was displayed around the recess, with more 
attention to ornament than was visible in the rest of the 
apartment; the arrangement of a few bow-pots, with 
such flowers as the fading season afforded, showed also 
the superintendence of female taste. 

Tomkins cast an eye of careless regard upon these sub- 
jects of female occupation, then stepped into the farther 
window, and began to turn the leaves of a folio which lay 
open on the reading-desk, apparently with some inter- 
est. Joceline, who had determined to watch his motions 
without interfering with them, was standing at some 
distance in dejected silence, when a door behind the 



tapestry suddenly opened, and a pretty village maid 
tripped out\\ith a napkin in her hand, as if she had been 
about some household duty. 

'How, now, sir impudence,' she said to Joceline, in 
a smart tone; 'what do you here, prowling about the 
apartments when the master is not at home?' 

But, instead of the answer which perhaps she ex- 
pected, Joceline Joliffe cast a mournful glance towards 
the soldier in the oriel window, as if to make what he 
said fully intelligible, and replied, with a dejected ap- 
pearance and voice, 'Alack, my pretty Phcebe, there 
come those here that have more right or might than 
any of us, and will use little ceremony in coming when 
they will, and staying while they please.' 

He darted another glance at Tomkins, who still 
seemed busy with the book before him, then sidled 
close to the astonished girl, who had continued looking 
alternately at the keeper and at the stranger, as if she 
had been unable to understand the words of the first, 
or to comprehend the meaning of the second being 

'Go,' whispered Joliffe, approaching his mouth so 
near her cheek that his breath waved the curls of her 
hair — 'go, my dearest Phcebe, trip it as fast as a fawn 
down to my lodge. I will soon be there, and — ' 

' Your lodge, indeed ! ' said Phcebe ; ' you are very 
bold, for a poor kill-buck that never frightened any- 
thing before save a dun deer. Your lodge, indeed! I 
am like to go there, I think.' 

' Hush — hush ! Phcebe : here is no time for jesting. 
Down to my hut, I say, like a deer, for the knight and 
Mrs. Alice are both there, and I fear will not return 



hither again. All 's naught, girl, and our evil days are 
come at last with a vengeance : we are fairly at bay and 
fairly hunted down.' 

' Can this be, Joceline?' said the poor girl, turning to 
the keeper with an expression of fright in her counte- 
nance, which she had hitherto averted in rural coquetry. 

*As sure, my dearest Phoebe, as — ' 

The rest of the asseveration was lost in Phoebe's ear, 
so closely did the keeper's lips approach it; and if they 
approached so very near as to touch her cheek, grief, like 
impatience, hath its privileges, and poor Phoebe had 
enough of serious alarm to prevent her from demurring 
upon such a trifle. 

But no trifle was the approach of Joceline's Hps to 
Phoebe's pretty though sunburnt cheek in the estima- 
tion of the Independent, who, a little before the object 
of Joceline's vigilance, had been more lately in his turn 
the observer of the keeper's demeanour, so soon as the 
interview betwixt Phoebe and him had become so inter- 
esting. And when he remarked the closeness of Joce- 
line's argument, he raised his voice to a pitch of harsh- 
ness that would have rivalled that of an ungreased and 
rusty saw, and which at once made Joceline and Phoebe 
spring six feet apart, each in contrary directions, and if 
Cupid was of the party, must have sent him out at the 
window like a wild duck flying from a culverin. In- 
stantly throwing himself into the attitude of a preacher 
and a reprover of vice, 'How now!' he exclaimed, 
* shameless and impudent as you are! What! chambering 
and wantoning in our very presence ! How ! would you 
play your pranks before the steward of the Commission- 
ers of the High Court of Parliament, as ye would in a 



booth at the fulsome fair, or amidst the trappings and 
tracings of a profane dancing-school, where the scoun- 
drel minstrels make their ungodly weapons to squeak, 
"Kiss and be kind, the fiddler's blind"? But here,' he 
said, dealing a perilous thump upon the volume — 
'here is the king and high priest of those vices and follies. 
Here he is, whom men of folly profanely call nature's 
miracle. Here he is, whom princes chose for their cabi- 
net-keeper, and whom maids of honour take for their 
bedfellow. Here is the prime teacher of fine words, 
foppery, and folly. Here! (dealing another thump upon 
the volume; and oh! revered of the Roxburghe, it was 
the first folio — beloved of the Bannatyne, it was 
Hemminge and Condell — it was the editio prince ps). 
On thee,' he continued — 'on thee, William Shakespeare, 
I charge whate'er of such lawless idleness and immodest 
folly hath defiled the land since thy day.' 

* By the mass, a heavy accusation,' said Joceline, the 
bold recklessness of whose temper could not be long 
overawed. * Odds pittikins, is our master's old favourite, 
Will of Stratford, to answer for every buss that has been 
snatched since James's time? A perilous reckoning 
truly! but I wonder who is sponsible for what lads and 
lasses did before his day? ' 

'Scoff not,' said the soldier, 'lest I, being called 
thereto by the voice within me, do deal with thee as a 
scomer. Verily I say, that since the devil fell from 
Heaven, he never lacked agents on earth; yet nowhere 
hath he met with a wizard having such infinite power 
over men's souls as this pestilent fellow Shakespeare. 
Seeks a wife a foul example for adultery, here she shall 
find it. Would a man know how to train his fellow to be 



a murderer, here shall he find tutoring. Would a lady 
marry a heathen negro, she shall have chronicled example 
for it. Would any one scorn at his Maker, he shall be 
furnished with a jest in this book. Would he defy his 
brother in the flesh, he shall be accommodated with a 
challenge. Would you be drunk, Shakespeare will cheer 
you with a cup. Would you plunge in sensual pleasures, 
he will soothe you to indulgence, as with the lascivious 
sounds of a lute. This, I say — this book is the wellhead 
and source of all those evils which have overrun the land 
like a torrent, making men scoffers, doubters, deniers, 
murderers, make bates, and lovers of the wine-pot, haunt- 
ing unclean places, and sitting long at the evening wine. 
Away with him — away with him, men of England! 
to Tophet with his wicked book, and to the vale of 
Hinnom with his accursed bones! Verily, but that our 
march was hasty when we passed Stratford, in the year 
1643, with Sir William Waller — but that our march 
was hasty — ' 

'Because Prince Rupert was after you with his 
Cavaliers,' muttered the incorrigible Joceline. 

*I say,' continued the zealous trooper, raising his 
voice and extending his arm, 'but that our march was 
by command hasty, and that we turned not aside in our 
riding, closing our ranks each one upon the other as 
becomes men of war, I had torn on that day the bones 
of that preceptor of vice and debauchery from the grave, 
and given them to the next dunghill. I would have made 
his memory a scoff and a hissing.' 

' That is the bitterest thing he has said yet,' observed 
the keeper. 'Poor Will would have liked the hissing 
worse than all the rest.' 



*Will the gentleman say any more?' inquired Phoebe 
in a whisper. ' Lack-a-day, he talks brave words, if one 
knew but what they meant. But it is a mercy our good 
knight did not see him ruffle the book at that rate. 
Mercy on us, there would certainly have been bloodshed. 
But oh the father — see how he is twisting his face 
about! Is he ill of the colic, think'st thou, Joceline ? Or 
may I offer him a glass of strong waters? ' 

' Hark thee hither, wench,' said the keeper, 'he is but 
loading his blunderbuss for another volley; and while he 
turns up his eyes, and twists about his face, and clenches 
his j&st, and shuffles and tramples with his feet in that 
fashion, he is bound to take no notice of anything. I 
would be sworn to cut his purse, if he had one, from his 
side, without his feeling it.' 

*La! Joceline,' said Phcebe, 'and if he abides here in 
this turn of times, I dare say the gentleman will be easily 

'Care not thou about that,' said Joliffe; 'but tell me 
softly and hastily, what is in the pantry?' 

'Small housekeeping enough,' said Phoebe: 'a cold 
capon and some comfits, and the great standing venison 
pasty, with plenty of spice — a manchet or two besides, 
and that is all.' 

'Well, it will serve for a pinch. Wrap thy cloak round 
thy comely body; get a basket and a brace of trenchers 
and towels, they are heinously impoverished down 
yonder; carry down the capon and the manchets; the 
pasty must abide with this same soldier and me, and the 
pie-crust will serve us for bread.' 

'Rarely,' said Phcebe, 'I made the paste myself: it is 
as thick as the walls of Fair Rosamond's Tower.' 



'Which two pairs of Jaws would be long in gnawing 
through, work hard as they might,' said the keeper. 
'But what liquor is there?' 

'Only a bottle of Alicant and one of sack, with the 
stone jug of strong waters,' answered Phoebe. 

'Put the wine-flasks into thy basket,' said Joceline, 
'the knight must not lack his evening draught; and 
down with thee to the hut like a lapwing. There is 
enough for supper, and to-morrow is a new day. Ha! by 
Heaven I thought yonder man's eye watched us. No, 
he only rolled it round him in a brown study. Deep 
enough doubtless, as they all are! But d — n him, he 
must be bottomless if I carmot sound him before the 
night 's out. Hie thee away, Phoebe.' 

But Phoebe was a rural coquette, and, aware that 
Joceline's situation gave him no advantage of avenging 
the challenge in a fitting way, she whispered in his ear, 
' Do you think our knight's friend, Shakespeare, really 
found out all these naughty devices the gentleman spoke 

Off she darted while she spoke, while Joliffe menaced 
future vengeance with his finger, as he muttered, 'Go 
thy way, Phoebe Mayflower, the lightest-footed and 
lightest-hearted wench that ever tripped the sod in 
Woodstock Park! After her, Bevis, and bring her safe 
to our master at the hut.' 

The large greyhound arose like a human servitor who 
had received an order, and followed Phoebe through the 
hall, first licking her hand to make her sensible of his 
presence, and then putting himself to a slow trot, so as 
best to accommodate himself to the light pace of her 
whom he convoyed, whom Joceline had not extolled for 



her activity without due reason. While Phoebe and her 
guardian thread the forest glades, we return to the lodge. 

The Independent now seemed to start as if from a 
reverie. 'Is the young woman gone?' said he. 

*Ay, marry is she/ said the keeper; 'and if your wor- 
ship hath further commands, you must rest contented 
with male attendance.' 

* Commands — umph — I think the damsel might 
have tarried for another exhortation,' said the soldier; 
' truly, I profess my mind was much inclined toward her 
for her edification.' 

'Oh, sir,' repHed Joliffe, 'she will be at church next 
Sunday, and if your military reverence is pleased again 
to hold forth amongst us, she will have use of the doc- 
trine with the rest. But young maidens of these parts 
hear no private homilies. And what is now your pleas- 
ure? Will you look at the other rooms, and at the few 
plate articles which have been left? ' 

'Umph — no,' said the Independent; 'it wears late, 
and gets dark. Thou hast the means of giving us beds, 

'Better you never slept in,' replied the keeper. 

'And wood for a fire, and a Hght, and some small pit- 
tance of creature-comforts for refreshment of the out- 
ward man?' continued the soldier. 

'Without doubt,' replied the keeper, displaying a 
prudent anxiety to gratify this important personage. 

In a few minutes a great standing candlestick was 
placed on an oaken table. The mighty venison pasty, 
adorned with parsley, was placed on the board on a clean 
napkin ; the stone bottle of strong waters, with a black- 
jack full of ale, formed comfortable appendages; and to 



this meal sate down in social manner the soldier, occupy- 
ing a great elbow-chair, and the keeper, at his invitation, 
using the more lowly accommodation of a stool, at the 
opposite side of the table. Thus agreeably employed, 
our history leaves them for the present. 


Yon path of greensward 
Winds round by sparry grot and gay pavilion; 
There is no f3int to gall thy tender foot. 
There 's ready shelter from each breeze, or shower. 
But duty guides not that way: see her stand, 
With wand entwined with amaranth, near yon cliffs. 
Oft where she leads thy blood must mark thy footsteps, 
Oft where she leads thy head must bear the storm, 
And thy shrunk form endure heat, cold, and hunger; 
But she will guide thee up to noble heights, 
Which he who gains seems native of the sky. 
While earthly things lie stretch'd beneath his feet, 
Diminish'd, shrunk, and valueless. 


The reader cannot have forgotten that, after his scuffle 
with the Commonwealth soldier, Sir Henry Lee, with 
his daughter Alice, had departed to take refuge in the 
hut of the stout keeper, Joceline Joliffe. They walked 
slow, as before, for the old knight was at once oppressed 
by perceiving these last vestiges of royalty fall into the 
hands of republicans and by the recollection of his recent 
defeat. At times he paused, and, with his arms folded on 
his bosom, recalled all the circumstances attending his 
expulsion from a house so long his home. It seemed to 
him that, like the champions of romance of whom he had 
sometimes read, he himself was retiring from the post 
which it was his duty to guard, defeated by a Paynim 
knight, for whom the adventure had been reserved by 
fate. Alice had her own painful subjects of recollection, 
nor had the tenor of her last conversation with her 
father been so pleasant as to make her anxious to renew 
it until his temper should be more composed; for with 

37 65 


an excellent disposition, and much love to his daughter, 
age and misfortunes, which of late came thicker and 
thicker, had given to the good knight's passions a way- 
ward irritability unknown to his better days. His 
daughter, and one or two attached servants who still 
followed his decayed fortunes, soothed his frailty as 
much as possible, and pitied him even while they suf- 
fered under its effects. 

It was a long time ere he spoke, and then he referred 
to an incident already noticed. 'It is strange,' he said, 
' that Bevis should have followed Joceline and that fel- 
low rather than me.' 

'Assure yourself, sir,' replied Alice, 'that his sagacity 
saw in this man a stranger, whom he thought himself 
obliged to watch circumspectly, and therefore he re- 
mained with Joceline.' 

'Not so, Alice,' answered Sir Henry; 'he leaves me 
because my fortunes have fled from me. There is a 
feeling in nature, affecting even the instinct, as it is 
called, of dumb animals, which teaches them to fly from 
misfortune. The very deer there will butt a sick or 
wounded buck from the herd; hurt a dog, and the whole 
kennel will faU on him and worry him; fishes devour 
their own kind when they are wounded with a spear; 
cut a crow's wing, or break its leg, the others wiH buffet 
it to death.' 

'That may be true of the more irrational kinds of 
animals among each other,' said Alice, 'for their whole 
life is wellnigh a warfare ; but the dog leaves his own race 
to attach himself to ours — forsakes, for his master, the 
company, food, and pleasure of his own kind; and 
surely the fidelity of such a devoted and voluntary serv- 



ant as Bevis hath been in particular ought not to be 
lightly suspected/ 

*I am not angry with the dog, Alice; I am only sorry,* 
replied her father. *I have read in faithful chronicles 
that, when Richard II and Henry of Bolingbroke were 
at Berkeley Castle, a dog of the same kind deserted the 
king, whom he had always attended upon, and attached 
himself to Henry, whom he then saw for the first time. 
Richard foretold, from the desertion of his favourite, his 
approaching deposition.^ The dog was afterwards kept 
at Woodstock, and Bevis is said to be of his breed, which 
was heedfuUy kept up. What I might foretell of mischief 
from his desertion, I cannot guess, but my mind assures 
me it bodes no good.' 

There was a distant rustling among the withered 
leaves, a bouncing or galloping sound on the path, and 
the favourite dog instantly joined his master. 

'Come into court, old knave,' said Alice, cheerfully, 
'and defend thy character, which is wellnigh endan- 
gered by this absence.' But the dog only paid her 
courtesy by gambolling around them, and instantly 
plunged back again, as fast as he could scamper. 

'How now, knave,' said the knight; *thou art too well 
trained, surely, to take up the chase without orders?' 
A minute more showed them Phoebe Mayflower ap- 
proaching, her light pace so little impeded by the burden 
which she bore, that she joined her master and young 
mistress just as they arrived at the keeper's hut, which 
was the boundary of their journey. Bevis, who had shot 
ahead to pay his compliments to Sir Henry his master, 
had returned again to his immediate duty, the escorting 
* The story occurs, I think, in Froissart's Chronicles. 


Phcebe and her cargo of provisions. The whole party 
stood presently assembled before the door of the keeper's 

In better times, a substantial stone habitation, fit for 
the yeoman-keeper of a royal walk, had adorned this 
place. A fair spring gushed out near the spot, and once 
traversed yards and courts, attached to well-built and 
convenient kennels and mews. But in some of the skir- 
mishes which were common during the civil wars, this 
little silvan dwelling had been attacked and defended, 
stormed and burnt. A neighbouring squire, of the Par- 
liament side of the question, took advantage of Sir 
Henry Lee's absence, who was then in Charles's camp, 
and of the decay of the royal cause, and had, without 
scruple, carried ofif the hewn stones, and such building- 
materials as the fire left unconsumed, and repaired his 
own manor-house with them. The yeoman-keeper, 
therefore, our friend Joceline, had constructed, for his 
own accommodation and that of the old woman he 
called his dame, a wattled hut, such as his own labour, 
with that of a neighbour or two, had erected in the 
course of a few days. The walls were plastered with clay, 
whitewashed, and covered with vines and other creeping 
plants; the roof was neatly thatched; and the whole, 
though merely a hut, had, by the neat-handed Joliffe, 
been so arranged as not to disgrace the condition of the 

The knight advanced to the entrance; but the ingenu- 
ity of the architect, for want of a better lock to the door, 
which itself was but of wattles curiously twisted, had 
contrived a mode of securing the latch on the inside with 
a pin, which prevented it from rising; and in this manner 



it was at present fastened. Conceiving that this was 
some precaution of Joliffe's old housekeeper, of whose 
deafness they were all aware, Sir Henry raised his voice 
to demand admittance, but in vain. Irritated at this 
delay, he pressed the door at once with foot and hand, in 
a way which the frail barrier was unable to resist; it gave 
way accordingly, and the knight thus forcibly entered 
the kitchen, or outward apartment, of his servant. In 
the midst of the floor, and with a posture which indi- 
cated embarrassment, stood a youthful stranger, in a 

'This may be my last act of authority here,' said the 
knight, seizing the stranger by the collar, ' but I am still 
ranger of Woodstock for this night at least. Who or 
what art thou?' 

The stranger dropped the riding-mantle in which his 
face was mufiled, and at the same time fell on one knee. 

'Your poor kinsman, Markham Everard,' he said, 
'who came hither for your sake, although he fears you 
will scarce make him welcome for his own,' 

Sir Henry started back, but recovered himself in an 
instant, as one who recollected that he had a part of 
dignity to perform. He stood erect, therefore, and re- 
plied, with considerable assumption of stately cere- 

'Fair kinsman, it pleases me that you are come to 
Woodstock upon the very first night that, for many 
years which have past, is likely to promise you a worthy 
or a welcome reception.' 

'Now God grant it be so, that I rightly hear and duly 
understand you,' said the young man; while Alice, 
though she was silent, kept her looks fixed on her father's 



face, as if desirous to know whether his meaning was 
kind towards his nephew, which her knowledge of his 
character inclined her greatly to doubt. 

The knight meanwhile darted a sardonic look, first 
on his nephew, then on his daughter, and proceeded — 
* I need not, I presume, inform Mr. Markham Everard 
that it cannot be our purpose to entertain him, or even 
to offer him a seat, in this poor hut.' 

*I will attend you most willingly to the lodge,' said 
the young gentleman. 'I had, indeed, judged you were 
already there for the evening, and feared to intrude 
upon you. But if you would permit me, my dearest 
uncle, to escort my kinswoman and you back to the 
lodge, believe me, amongst all which you have so often 
done of good and kind, you never conferred benefit 
that will be so dearly prized.' 

'You mistake me greatly, Mr. Markham Everard,' 
replied the knight. 'It is not our purpose to return to 
the lodge to-night, nor, by Our Lady, to-morrow neither. 
I meant but to intimate to you in all courtesy, that at 
Woodstock Lodge you will find those for whom you are 
fitting society, and who, doubtless, will afford you a 
willing welcome, which I, sir, in this my present re- 
treat, do not presume to offer to a person of your con- 

'For Heaven's sake,' said the young man, turning 
to Alice, 'tell me how I am to understand language so 
mysterious ! ' 

Alice, to prevent his increasing the restrained anger 
of her father, compelled herself to answer, though it was 
with difficulty, 'We are expelled from the lodge by 



* Expelled — by soldiers ! ' exclaimed Everard, in 
surprise; 'there is no legal warrant for this.' 

'None at all/ answered the knight, in the same tone 
of cutting irony which he had all along used, ' and yet 
as lawful a warrant as for aught that has been wrought 
in England this twelvemonth and more. You are, I 
think, or were, an Inns-of- Court-man — marry, sir, 
your enjoyment of your profession is like that lease 
which a prodigal wishes to have of a wealthy widow. 
You have already survived the law which you studied, 
and its expiry doubtless has not been without a legacy 

— some decent pickings, some merciful increases, as 
the phrase goes. You have deserved it two ways: you 
wore buff and bandalier, as well as wielded pen and ink 

— I have not heard if you held forth too?' 

* Think of me and speak of me as harshly as you will, 
sir,' said Everard, submissively. *I have but, in this 
evil time, guided myself by my conscience and my 
father's commands.' 

*0, an you talk of conscience,' said the old knight, 
* I must have mine eye upon you, as Hamlet says. Never 
yet did Puritan cheat so grossly as when he was appeal- 
ing to his conscience ; and as for thy fatJier — ' 

He was about to proceed in a tone of the same invec- 
tive, when the young man interrupted him, by saying, 
in a firm tone, 'Sir Henry Lee, you have ever been 
thought noble. Say of me what you will, but speak not 
of my father what the ear of a son should not endure, 
and which yet his arm cannot resent. To do me such 
wrong is to insult an unarmed man or to beat a captive.' 

Sir Henry paused, as if struck by the remark. 'Thou 
hast spoken truth in that, Mark, wert thou the blackest 



Puritan whom hell ever vomited, to distract an un- 
happy country.' 

'Be that as you will to think it,' replied Everard; 
* but let me not leave you to the shelter of this wretched 
hovel. The night is drawing to storm; let me but con- 
duct you to the lodge, and expel those intruders, who 
can, as yet at least, have no warrant for what they do. 
I will not linger a moment behind them, save just to 
deliver my father's message. Grant me but this much, 
for the love you once bore me.' 

'Yes, Mark,' answered his uncle, firmly, but sorrow- 
fully, 'thou speakest truth — I did love thee once. The 
bright-haired boy whom I taught to ride, to shoot, to 
hunt, whose hours of happiness were spent with me, 
wherever those of graver labours were employed — I 
did love that boy — ay, and I am weak enough to love 
even the memory of what he was. But he is gone, Mark 
— he is gone ; and in his room I only behold an avowed 
and determined rebel to his religion and to his king — 
a rebel more detestable on account of his success, the 
more infamous through the plundered wealth with 
which he hopes to gild his villainy. But I am poor, thou 
think'st, and should hold my peace, lest men say, 
"Speak, sirrah, when you should." Know, however, 
that, indigent and plundered as I am, I feel myself dis- 
honoured in holding even but this much talk with the 
tool of usurping rebels. Go to the lodge if thou wilt, 
yonder lies the way; but think not that, to regain my 
dwelling there, or all the wealth I ever possessed in my 
wealthiest days, I would willingly accompany thee three 
steps on the greensward. If I must be thy companion, 
it shall be only when thy redcoats have tied my hands 



behind me, and bound my legs beneath my horse's belly. 
Thou mayst be my fellow-traveller then, I grant thee, 
if thou wilt, but not sooner.' 

Alice, who suffered cruelly during this dialogue, and 
was well aware that further argument would only kindle 
the knight's resentment still more highly, ventured at 
last, in her anxiety, to make a sign to her cousin to break 
off the interview and to retire, since her father com- 
manded his absence in a manner so peremptory. Un- 
happily she was observed by Sir Henry, who, conclud- 
ing that what he saw was evidence of a private under- 
standing betwixt the cousins — his wrath acquired 
new fuel, and it required the utmost exertion of self- 
command, and recollection of all that was due to his 
own dignity, to enable him to veil his real fury under the 
same ironical manner which he had adopted at the be- 
ginning of this angry interview. 

'If thou art afraid,' he said, 'to trace our forest glades 
by night, respected stranger, to whom I am perhaps 
bound to do honour as my successor in the charge of 
these walks, here seems to be a modest damsel who will 
be most willing to wait on thee, and be thy bow-bearer. 
Only, for her mother's sake, let there pass some sUght 
form of marriage between you. Ye need no license or 
priest in these happy days, but may be buckled like 
beggars in a ditch, with a hedge for a church-roof and a 
tinker for a priest. I crave pardon of you for making 
such an officious and simple request: perhaps you are a 
Ranter, or one of the family of Love, or hold marriage 
rites as unnecessary as KnipperdoHng or Jack of Ley- 

* For mercy's sake, forbear such dreadful jesting, my 



father! and do you, Markham, begone, in God's name, 
and leave us to our fate. Your presence makes my fa- 
ther rave.' 

' Jesting ! ' said Sir Henry. * I was never more serious. 
Raving! I was never more composed. I could never 
brook that falsehood should approach me: I would no 
more bear by my side a dishonoured daughter than a 
dishonoured sword; and this unhappy day hath shown 
that both can fail.' 

'Sir Henry,' said young Everard, 'load not your soul 
with a heavy crime, which be assured you do, in treating 
your daughter thus unjustly. It is long now since you 
denied her to me, when we were poor and you were pow- 
erful. I acquiesced in your prohibition of all suit and 
intercourse, God knoweth what I suffered — but I 
acquiesced. Neither is it to renew my suit that I now 
come hither, and have, I do acknowledge, sought speech 
of her, not for her own sake only, but for yours also. 
Destruction hovers over you, ready to close her pinions 
to stoop and her talons to clutch. Yes, sir, look con- 
temptuous as you will, such is the case; and it is to 
protect both you and her that I am here.' 

'You refuse then my free gift,' said Sir Henry Lee; 
*or perhaps you think it loaded with too hard condi- 
tions? ' 

' Shame — shame on you. Sir Henry ! ' said Everard, 
waxing warm in his turn; 'have your pohtical preju- 
dices so utterly warped every feeling of a father, that 
you can speak with bitter mockery and scorn of what 
concerns your own daughter's honour? Hold up your 
head, fair Alice, and tell your father he has forgotten 
nature in his fantastic spirit of loyalty. Know, Sir 



Henry, that, though I would prefer your daughter's 
hand to every blessing which Heaven could bestow on 
me, I would not accept it — my conscience would not 
permit me to do so — when I knew it must withdraw 
her from her duty to you.' 

'Your conscience is over-scrupulous, young man; 
carry it to some dissenting rabbi, and he who takes all 
that comes to net will teach thee it is sinning against our 
mercies to refuse any good thing that is freely offered 
to us.' 

'When it is freely offered, and kindly offered — not 
when the offer is made in irony and insult. Fare thee 
well, Alice; if aught could make me desire to profit 
by thy father's wild wish to cast thee from him in a 
moment of unworthy suspicion, it would be that, 
while indulging in such sentiments, Sir Henry Lee is 
tyrannically oppressing the creature who of all others 
is most dependent on his kindness, who of all others 
will most feel his severity, and whom of all others he 
is most bound to cherish and support.' 

*Do not fear for me, Mr. Everard,' exclaimed Alice, 
aroused from her timidity by a dread of the consequences 
not unlikely to ensue, where civil war set relations, as 
well as fellow-citizens, in opposition to each other. 
'Oh, begone, I conjure you — begone! Nothing stands 
betwixt me and my father's kindness but these unhappy 
family divisions — but your ill-timed presence here. 
For Heaven's sake, leave us! ' 

'Soh, mistress!' answered the hot old CavaHer, 'you 
play lady paramount already, and who but you! You 
would dictate to our train, I warrant, like Goneril and 
Regan ! But I tell thee, no man shall leave my house — 



and, humble as it is, this is now my house — while he 
has aught to say to me that is to be spoken, as this 
young man now speaks, with a bent brow and a lofty 
tone. Speak out, sir, and say your worst.' 

'Fear not my temper, Mrs. Alice,' said Everard, with 
equal firmness and placidity of manner; 'and you, Sir 
Henry, do not think that, if I speak firmly, I mean 
therefore to speak in anger, or officiously. You have 
taxed me with much, and, were I guided by the wild 
spirit of romantic chivalry, much which, even from so 
near a relative, I ought not, as being by birth and in 
the world's estimation a gentleman, to pass over with- 
out reply. Is it your pleasure to give me patient hear- 

'If you stand on your defence,' answered the stout 
old knight, ' God forbid that you should not challenge 
a patient hearing — ay, though your pleading were two 
parts disloyalty and one blasphemy. Only be brief; this 
has already lasted but too long.' 

'I will. Sir Henry,' replied the young man; 'yet it is 
hard to crowd into a few sentences the defence of a life 
which, though short, has been a busy one — too busy, 
your indignant gesture would assert. But I deny it: I 
have drawn my sword neither hastily nor without due 
consideration for a people whose rights have been tram- 
pled on and whose consciences have been oppressed. 
Frown not, sir — such is not your view of the contest, 
but such is mine. For my religious principles, at which 
you have scoffed, believe me that, though they depend 
not on set forms, they are no less sincere than your own, 
and thus far purer — excuse the word — that they are 
unmingled with the bloodthirsty dictates of a barbarous 



age, which you and others have called the code of chival- 
rous honour. Not my own natural disposition, but the 
better doctrine which my creed has taught, enables me 
to bear your harsh revilings without answering in a simi- 
lar tone of wrath and reproach. You may carry insult 
to extremity against me at your pleasure, not on ac- 
count of our relationship alone, but because I am bound 
in charity to endure it. This, Sir Henry, is much from 
one of our house. But, with forbearance far more than 
this requires, I can refuse at your hands the gift which, 
most of all things under Heaven, I should desire to obtain, 
because duty calls upon her to sustain and comfort you, 
and because it were sin to permit you, in your blind- 
ness, to spurn your comforter from your side. Farewell, 
sir — not in anger, but in pity. We may meet in a better 
time, when your heart and your principles shall master 
the unhappy prejudices by which they are now over- 
clouded. Farewell — farewell, AHce ! ' 

The last words were repeated twice, and in a tone of 
feeling and passionate grief which differed utterly from 
the steady and almost severe tone in which he had ad- 
dressed Sir Henry Lee. He turned and left the hut so 
soon as he had uttered these last words; and, as if 
ashamed of the tenderness which had mingled with his 
accents, the young Commonwealth's-man turned and 
walked sternly and resolvedly forth into the moonlight, 
which now was spreading its broad light and autumnal 
shadows over the woodland. 

So soon as he departed, Alice, who had been during 
the whole scene in the utmost terror that her father 
might have been hurried, by his natural heat of temper, 
from violence of language into violence of action^ sunk 



down upon a settle twisted out of willow-boughs, like 
most of Joceline's few movables, and endeavoured to 
conceal the tears which accompanied the thanks she 
rendered in broken accents to Heaven, that, notwith- 
standing the near alliance and relationship of the par- 
ties, some fatal deed had not closed an interview so 
perilous and so angry. Phoebe Mayflower blubbered 
heartily for company, though she understood but little 
of what had passed; just, indeed, enough to enable her 
afterwards to report to some half-dozen particular 
friends that her old master. Sir Henry, had been perilous 
angry, and almost fought with young Master Everard, 
because he had wellnigh carried away her young mis- 
tress. 'And what could he have done better,' said 
Phoebe, 'seeing the old man had nothing left either for 
Mrs. Alice or himself? and as for Mr. Mark Everard and 
our young lady, oh ! they had spoken such loving things 
to each other as are not to be found in the history of 
Argalus and Parthenia, who, as the story-book tells, 
were the truest pair of lovers in all Arcadia and Oxford- 
shire to boot.' 

Old Goody Jellicot had popped her scarlet hood into 
the kitchen more than once while the scene was pro- 
ceeding; but, as the worthy dame was parcel blind and 
more than parcel deaf, knowledge was excluded by two 
principal entrances; and though she comprehended, by a 
sort of general instinct, that the gentlefolk were at high 
words, yet why they chose Joceline's hut for the scene 
of their dispute was as great a mystery as the subject 
of the quarrel. 

But what was the state of the old Cavalier's mood, 
thus contradicted, as his most darling principles had 



been, by the last words of his departing nephew? The 
truth is, that he was less thoroughly moved than his 
daughter expected; and in all probability his nephew's 
bold defence of his religious and political opinions rather 
pacified than aggravated his displeasure. Although 
sufficiently impatient of contradiction, still evasion and 
subterfuge were more aHen to the blunt old ranger's 
nature than manly vindication and direct opposition; 
and he was wont to say, that he ever loved the buck 
best who stood boldest at bay. He graced his nephew's 
departure, however, with a quotation from Shakespeare, 
whom, as many others do, he was wont to quote from a 
sort of habit and respect, as a favourite of his unfortun- 
ate master, without having either much real taste for his 
works or great skill in applying the passages which he 
retained on his memory. 

'Mark,' he said — 'mark this, Alice: the devil can 
quote Scripture for his purpose. Why, this young 
fanatic cousin of thine, with no more beard than I have 
seen on a clown playing Maid Marion on May-day, 
when the village barber had shaved him in too great a 
hurry, shall match any bearded Presbyterian or Inde- 
pendent of them all in laying down his doctrines and his 
uses, and bethumping us with his texts and his homilies. 
I would worthy and learned Dr. Rochecliffe had been 
here, with his battery ready mounted from the Vulgate, 
and the Septuagint, and what not: he would have bat- 
tered the Presbyterian spirit out of him with a wanion. 
However, I am glad the young man is no sneaker; for, 
were a man of the devil's opinion in religion and of Old 
Noll's in politics, he were better open on it full cry than 
deceive you by hunting counter or running a false scent. 



Come, wipe thine eyes: the fray is over, and not like to 
be stirred again soon, I trust.' 

Encouraged by these words, Alice rose, and, bewil- 
dered as she was, endeavoured to superintend the ar- 
rangements for their meal and their repose in their new 
habitation. But her tears fell so fast, they marred her 
counterfeited diligence; and it was well for her that 
Phccbe, though too ignorant and too simple to compre- 
hend the extent of her distress, could afford her material 
assistance, in lack of mere sympathy. 

With great readiness and address, the damsel set 
about everything that was requisite for preparing the 
supper and the beds; now screaming into Dame Jellicot's 
ear, now whispering into her mistress's, and artfully 
managing as if she was merely the agent under Alice's 
orders. When the cold viands were set forth. Sir Henry 
Lee kindly pressed his daughter to take refreshment, as 
if to make up, indirectly, for his previous harshness 
towards her; while he himself, like an experienced cam- 
paigner, showed that neither the mortifications nor 
brawls of the day, nor the thoughts of what was to come 
to-morrow, could diminish his appetite for supper, 
which was his favourite meal. He ate up two-thirds of 
the capon, and, devoting the first bumper to the happy 
restoration of Charles, second of the name, he finished a 
quart of wine; for he belonged to a school accustomed to 
feed the flame of their loyalty with copious brimmers. 
He even sang a verse of 'The King shall enjoy his own 
again,' in which Phoebe, half-sobbing, and Dame Jelli- 
cot, screaming against time and tune, were contented to 
lend their aid, to cover Mistress Alice's silence. 

At length the jovial knight betook himself to his rest 



on the keeper's straw pallet, in a recess adjoining to the 
kitchen, and, unaffected by his change of dwelling, slept 
fast and deep. Alice had less quiet rest in old Goody 
Jellicot's wicker couch, in the inner apartment; while the 
dame and Phoebe slept on a mattrass, stuffed with dry 
leaves, in the same chamber, soundly as those whose 
daily toil gains their daily bread, and whom morning 
calls up only to renew the toils of yesterday. 



My tongue pads slowly under this new language, 
And starts and stumbles at these uncouth phrases. 
They may be great in worth and weight, but hang 
Upon the native glibness of my language 
Like Saul's plate-armour on the shepherd boy, 
Encumbering and not arming him. 

J. B. 

As Markham Everard pursued his way towards the lodge, 
through one of the long sweeping glades which traversed 
the forest, varying in breadth, till the trees were now so 
close that the boughs made darkness over his head, then 
receding farther to let in glimpses of the moon, and anon 
opening yet wider into little meadows or savannahs, on 
which the moonbeams lay in silvery silence — as he thus 
proceeded on his lonely course, the various effects pro- 
duced by that delicious light on the oaks, whose dark 
leaves, gnarled branches, and massive trunks it gilded 
more or less partially, might have drawn the attention of 
a poet or a painter. 

But if Everard thought of anything saving the painful 
scene in which he had just played his part, and of which 
the result seemed the destruction of all his hopes, it was 
of the necessary guard to be observed in his night-walk. 
The times were dangerous and unsettled, the roads full 
of disbanded soldiers, and especially of Royalists, who 
made their poHtical opinions a pretext for disturbing the 
country with marauding parties and robberies. Deer- 
stcalcrs also, who are ever a desperate banditti, had of 
late infested Woodstock Chase. In short, the dangers 



of the place and period were such that Markham Ever- 
ard wore his loaded pistols at his belt, and carried his 
drawn sword under his arm, that he might be prepared 
for whatever peril should cross his path. 

He heard the bells of Woodstock church ring curfew, 
just as he was crossing one of the little meadows we 
have described, and they ceased as he entered an over- 
shadowed and twilight part of the path beyond. It was 
there that he heard some one whistling; and, as the 
sound became clearer, it was plain the person was ad- 
vancing towards him. This could hardly be a friend; for 
the party to which he belonged rejected, generally speak- 
ing, all music, unless psalmody. * If a man is merry, let 
him sing psalms,' was a text which they were pleased to 
interpret as literally and to as little purpose as they did 
some others ; yet it was too continued a sound to be a 
signal amongst night-walkers, and too hght and cheerful 
to argue any purpose of concealment on the part of the 
traveller, who presently exchanged his whistling for 
singing, and trolled forth the following stanza to a jolly 
tune, with which the old Cavaliers were wont to wake 
the night owl — 

'Hey for cavaliers! Ho for cavaliers! 
Pray for cavaliers! 

Rub a dub — rub a dub ! 

Have at old Beelzebub. 
Oliver smokes for fear.' 

'I should know that voice,' said Everard, uncocking 
the pistol which he had drawn from his belt, but con- 
tinuing to hold it in his hand. Then came another 
fragment — 

'Hash them, slash them, 
All to pieces dash them.' 



'So ho!' cried Markham, 'who goes there, and for 

'For Church and King,' answered a voice, which 
presently added, ' No, d — n me, I mean against Church 
and King, and for the people that are uppermost, I 
forget which they are. ' 

'Roger Wildrake, as I guess?' said Everard. 

'The same gentleman, of Squattlesea Mere, in the 
moist county of Lincoln.' 

'Wildrake!' said Markham. 'Wildgoose you should 
be called. You have been moistening your own throat to 
some purpose, and using it to gabble tunes very suitable 
to the times, to be sure.' 

'Faith, the tune 's a pretty tune enough, Mark, only 
out of fashion a Uttle, the more 's the pity.' 

'What could I expect,' said Everard, 'but to meet 
some ranting, drunken Cavalier, as desperate and dan- 
gerous as night and sack usually make them? What if I 
had rewarded your melody by a ball in the gullet? ' 

'Why, there would have been a piper paid, that's all,' 
said Wildrake. 'But wherefore come you this way now? 
I was about to seek you at the hut.' 

'I have been obliged to leave it. I will tell you the 
cause hereafter,' replied Markham. 

'What! the old play-hunting CavaUer was cross, or 
Chloe was unkind?' 

'Jest not, Wildrake; it is all over with me,' said 

'The devil it is,' exclaimed Wildrake, 'and you take it 
thus quietly! Zounds! let us back together. I'll plead 
your cause for you. I know how to tickle up an old 
knight and a pretty maiden. Let me alone for putting 



you rectus in curia, you canting rogue. "D — n me, Sir 
Henry Lee," says I, '^ your nephew is a piece of a Puri- 
tan — it won't deny — but I '11 uphold him a gentle- 
man and a pretty fellow, for all that." " Madam," says I, 
" you may think your cousin looks like a psakn-singing 
weaver, in that bare felt, and with that rascally brown 
cloak, that band, which looks like a baby's clout, and 
those loose boots, which have a whole calf -skin in each 
of them; but let him wear on the one side of his head a 
castor, with a plume befitting his quality; give him a 
good Toledo by his side, with a broidered belt and an 
inlaid hilt, instead of the ton of iron contained in that 
basket-hilted black Andrew Ferrara;put a few smart 
words in his mouth, and, blood and wounds! madam," 
says I — ' 

'Prithee, truce with this nonsense, Wildrake,' said 
Everard, 'and tell me if you are sober enough to hear a 
few words of sober reason? ' 

'Pshaw! man, I did but crack a brace of quarts with 
yonder Puritanic Roundheaded soldiers up yonder at the 
town; and rat me but I passed myself for the best man 
of the party — twanged my nose and turned up my eyes 
as I took my can. Pah ! the very wine tasted of hypoc- 
risy. I think the rogue corporal smoked something at 
last; as for the common fellows, never stir, but they 
asked me to say grace over another quart!' 

' This is just what I wished to speak with you about, 
Wildrake,' said Markham. ' You hold me, I am sure, for 
your friend? ' 

' True as steel. Chums at college and at Lincoln's Inn, 
we have been Nisus and Euryalus, Theseus and Piri- 
thous, Orestes and Py lades, and, to sum up the whole 



with a Puritanic touch, David and Jonathan, all in one 
breath. Not even politics, the wedge that rends famihes 
and friendships asunder, as iron rives oak, have been 
able to split us.' 

'True,' answered Markham; 'and when you followed 
the King to Nottingham, and I enrolled under Essex, 
we swore, at our parting, that whichever side was vic- 
torious, he of us who adhered to it should protect his 
less fortunate comrade.' 

'Surely, man — surely; and have you not protected 
me accordingly? Did you not save me from hanging? 
and am I not indebted to you for the bread I eat?' 

'I have but done that which, had the times been 
otherwise, you, my dear Wildrake, would, I am sure, 
have done for me. But, as I said, that is just what I 
wished to speak to you about. Why render the task of 
protecting you more difficult than it must necessarily be 
at any rate? Why thrust thyself into the company of 
soldiers, or such-like, where thou art sure to be warmed 
into betraying thyself? Why come hollowing and 
whooping out Cavalier ditties, like a drunken trooper of 
Prince Rupert, or one of Wilmot's swaggering body- 

' Because I may have been both one and t'other in my 
day, for aught that you know,' replied Wildrake. 'But, 
odd fish ! is it necessary I should always be reminding 
you that our obligation of mutual protection, our 
league of offensive and defensive, as I may call it, was to 
be carried into effect without reference to the politics or 
religion of the party protected, or the least obligation on 
him to conform to those of his friend?' 

'True,' said Everard; 'but with this most necessary 


qualification, that the party should submit to such out- 
ward conformity to the times as should make it more 
easy and safe for his friend to be of service to him. Now, 
you are perpetually breaking forth, to the hazard of 
your own safety and my credit.' 

*I tell you, Mark, and I would tell your namesake 
the apostle, that you are hard on me. You have prac- 
tised sobriety and hypocrisy from your hanging sleeves 
till your Geneva cassock — from the cradle to this day 
— and it is a thing of nature to you ; and you are sur- 
prised that a rough, rattling, honest fellow, accustomed 
to speak truth all his life, and especially when he found 
it at the bottom of a flask, cannot be so perfect a prig as 
thyself! Zooks! there is no equaUty betwixt us. A 
trained diver might as well, because he can retain his 
breath for ten minutes without inconvenience, upbraid 
a poor devil for being like to burst in twenty seconds, 
at the bottom of ten fathoms' water; and, after all, con- 
sidering the guise is so new to me, I think I bear myself 
indifferently well — try me ! ' 

'Are there any more news from Worcester fight?' 
asked Everard, in a tone so serious that it imposed on 
his companion, who replied in his genuine character — 

* Worse ! d — n me — worse an hundred times than 
reported — totally broken. Noll hath certainly sold 
himself to the Devil, and his lease will have an end one 
day, that is all our present comfort.' 

' What ! and would this be your answer to the first red- 
coat who asked the question? ' said Everard. ' Methinks 
you would find a speedy passport to the next corps de 

' Nay — nay,' answered Wildrake, * I thought you 



asked me in your own person. Lack-a-day! a great 
mercy — a glorifying mercy — a crowning mercy — a 
vouchsafing — an uplifting; I profess the Malignants 
are scattered from Dan to Beersheba, smitten, hip and 
thigh, even until the going down of the sun!' 

'Hear you aught of Colonel Thornhaugh's wounds?' 

*He is dead,' answered Wildrake, 'that 's one comfort 
— the Roundheaded rascal ! Nay, hold ! it was but a trip 
of the tongue — I meant, the sweet, godly youth.' 

'And hear you aught of the young man, King of 
Scotland, as they call him?' said Everard. 

'Nothing, but that he is hunted like a partridge on the 
mountains. May God deliver him and confound his 
enemies! Zoons, Mark Everard, I can fool it no longer. 
Do you not remember, that at the Lincoln's Inn gam- 
bols — though you did not mingle much in them, I 
think — I used always to play as well as any of them 
when it came to the action, but they could never get me 
to rehearse conformably. It's the same at this day. I 
hear your voice, and I answer to it in the true tone of my 
heart; but when I am in the company of your snuflSing 
friends, you have seen me act my part indifferent 

'But indifferent, indeed,' replied Everard; 'however, 
there is little call on you to do aught, save to be modest 
and silent. Speak little, and lay aside, if you can, your 
big oaths and swaggering looks — set your hat even on 
your brows.' 

'Ay, that is the curse! I have been always noted for 
the jaunty manner in which I wear my castor. Hard 
when a man's merits become his enemies!' 

'You must remember you are my clerk.' 


'Secretary,' answered Wildrake; 'let it be secretary, 
if you love me.' 

*It must be clerk, and nothing else — plain clerk; and 
remember to be civil and obedient,' replied Everard. 

'But you should not lay on your commands with so 
much ostentatious superiority, Master Markham Ever- 
ard. Remember I am your senior of three years' stand- 
ing. Confound me, if I know how to take it!' 

' Was ever such a fantastic wronghead ! For my sake, 
if not for thine own, bend thy freakish folly to listen to 
reason. Think that I have incurred both risk and shame 
on thy account.' 

'Nay, thou art a right good fellow, Mark,' replied the 
Cavalier, 'and for thy sake I will do much; but remem- 
ber to cough and cry hem! when thou seest me like to 
break bounds. And now tell me whither we are bound 
for the night?' 

'To Woodstock Lodge, to look after my uncle's prop- 
erty,' answered Markham Everard: 'I am informed that 
soldiers have taken possession. Yet how could that be, if 
thou f oundest the party drinking in Woodstock? ' 

'There was a kind of commissary or steward, or 
some such rogue, had gone down to the lodge,' replied 
Wildrake; 'I had a peep at him.' 

' Indeed ! ' replied Everard. 

'Ay, verily,' said Wildrake, 'to speak your own 
language. Why, as I passed through the park in quest of 
you, scarce half an hour since, I saw a light in the lodge. 
Step this way, you will see it yourself.' 

'In the north-west angle?' returned Everard; 'it is 
from a window in what they call Victor Lee's apartment.' 

'Well,' resumed Wildrake, 'I had been long one of 



Lundsford's lads, and well used to patrolling duty — so, 
" Rat me," says I, "if I leave a light in my rear without 
knowing what it means." Besides, Mark, thou hadst 
said so much to me of thy pretty cousin, I thought I 
might as well have a peep, if I could.' 

'Thoughtless, incorrigible man! to what dangers do 
you expose yourself and your friends, in mere wanton- 
ness! But go on.' 

'By this fair moonshine, I believe thou art Jealous, 
Mark Everard,' replied his gay companion. * There is no 
occasion; for, in any case, I, who was to see the lady, was 
steeled by honour against the charms of my friend's 
Chloe. Then the lady was not to see me, so could make 
no comparisons to thy disadvantage, thou knowest. 
Lastly, as it fell out, neither of us saw the other at all.' 

*0f that I am well aware. Mrs. Alice left the lodge 
long before sunset, and never returned. What didst thou 
see to introduce with such preface?' 

'Nay, no great matter,' replied Wildrake; 'only, get- 
ting upon a sort of buttress — for I can climb like any 
cat that ever mewed in any gutter — and holding on by 
the vines and creepers which grew around, I obtained a 
station where I could see into the inside of that same 
parlour thou spokest of just now.' 

'And what saw'st thou there?' once more demanded 

'Nay, no great matter, as I said before,' replied the 
Cavalier; 'for in these times it is no new thing to see 
churls carousing in royal or noble chambers. I saw two 
rascallions engaged in empt>dng a solemn stoup of strong 
waters, and dispatching a huge venison pasty, which 
greasy mess, for their convenience, they had placed on a 



lady's work-table. One of them was trying an air on a 

'The profane villains!' exclaimed Everard, 'it was 

'Well said, comrade — I am glad your phlegm can be 
moved. I did but throw in these incidents of the lute 
and the table to try if it were possible to get a spark of 
human spirit out of you, be-sanctified as you are.' 

'What like were the men?' said young Everard. 

'The one a slouch-hatted, long-cloaked, sour-faced 
fanatic, Hke the rest of you, whom I took to be the stew- 
ard or commissary I heard spoken of in the town; the 
other was a short sturdy fellow, with a wood-knife at his 
girdle, and a long quarter-staff lying beside him — a 
black-haired knave, with white teeth and a merry coun- 
tenance — one of the under-rangers or bow-bearers of 
these walks, I fancy.' 

'They must have been Desborough's favourite, 
Trusty Tomkins,' said Everard, 'and Joceline Joliffe, 
the keeper. Tomkins is Desborough's right hand — an 
Independent, and hath pourings forth, as he calls them. 
Some think that his gifts have the better of his grace. I 
have heard of his abusing opportunities.' 

'They were improving them when I saw them,' re- 
plied Wildrake, ' and made the bottle smoke for it, when, 
as the devil would have it, a stone, which had been dis- 
lodged from the crumbling buttress, gave way under my 
weight. A clumsy fellow like thee would have been so 
long thinking what was to be done, that he must needs 
have followed it before he could make up his mind; but 
I, Mark — I hopped Hke a squirrel to an ivy twig, and 
stood fast, was wellnigh shot, though, for the noise 



alarmed them both. They looked to the oriel, and saw 
me on the outside; the fanatic fellow took out a pistol — 
as they have always such texts in readiness hanging 
beside the little clasped Bible, thou know'st; the keeper 
seized his hunting-pole. I treated them both to a roar 
and a grin — thou must know I can grimace like a 
baboon — I learned the trick from a French player, who 
could twist his jaws into a pair of nut-crackers — and 
therewithal I dropped myself sweetly on the grass, and 
ran off so trippingly, keeping the dark side of the wall as 
long as I could, that I am wellnigh persuaded they 
thought I was their kinsman, the devil, come among 
them uncalled. They were abominably startled.' 

*Thou art most fearfully rash, Wildrake,' said his 
companion. *We are now bound for the house; what if 
they should remember thee?' 

' Why, it is no treason, is it? No one has paid for peep- 
ing since Tom of Coventry's days ; and if he came in for a 
reckoning, belike it was for a better treat than mine. 
But trust me, they will no more know me than a man 
who had only seen your friend Noll at a conventicle of 
saints would know the same Oliver on horseback, and 
charging with his lobster- tailed squadron; or the same 
Noll cracking a jest and a bottle with wicked Waller the 

' Hush ! not a word of Oliver, as thou dost value thy- 
self and me. It is ill jesting with the rock you may split 
on. But here is the gate; we will disturb these honest 
gentlemen's recreations.' 

As he spoke, he applied the large and ponderous 
knocker to the hall door. 

'Rat-tat- tat- too!' said Wildrake; 'there is a fine 


alarm to you cuckolds and Roundheads ! ' He then half- 
mimicked, half-sung the march so called: 

* Cuckolds, come dig, cuckolds, come dig; 
Round about cuckolds, come dance to my jig! ' 

'By Heaven! this passes midsummer frenzy,' said 
Everard, turning angrily to him. 

'Not a bit — not a bit,' replied Wildrake; 'it is but a 
slight expectoration, just like what one makes before 
beginning a long speech. I will be grave for an hour 
together, now I have got that point of war out of my 

As he spoke, steps were heard in the hall, and the 
wicket of the great door was partly opened, but secured 
with a chain in case of accidents. The visage of Tom- 
kins, and that of Joceline beneath it, appeared at the 
chink, illuminated by the lamp which the latter held in 
his hand, and Tomkins demanded the meaning of this 

'I demand instant admittance,' said Everard. * JoHfife, 
you know me well? ' 

'I do, sir,' replied Joceline, 'and could admit you with 
all my heart; but, alas! sir, you see I am not key-keeper. 
Here is the gentleman whose warrant I must walk by. 
The Lord help me, seeing times are such as they be ! ' 

'And when that gentleman, who I think may be 
Master Desborough's valet — ' 

'His honour's unworthy secretary, an it please you,' 
interposed Tomkins; while Wildrake whispered in 
Everard's ear, 'I will be no longer secretary. Mark, 
thou wert quite right: the clerk must be the more gentle- 
manly calling.' 

'And if you are Master Desborough's secretary, I 



presume you know me and my condition well enough,' 
said Everard, addressing the Independent, 'not to hesi- 
tate to admit me and my attendant to a night's quar- 
ters in the lodge? ' 

'Surely not — surely not/ said the Independent; 
' that is, if your worship thinks you would be better ac- 
commodated here than up at the house of entertainment 
in the town, which men unprofitably call St. George's 
Inn. There is but confined accommodation here, your 
honour, and we have been frayed out of our lives al- 
ready by the visitation of Satan, albeit his fiery dart 
is now quenched.' 

'This may be all well in its place, sir secretary,' said 
Everard, 'and you may find a corner for it when you are 
next tempted to play the preacher. But I will take it for 
no apology for keeping me here in the cold harvest wind ; 
and if not presently received, and suitably too, I will 
report you to your master for insolence in your office.' 

The secretary of Desborough did not dare offer farther 
opposition; for it is well known that Desborough him- 
self only held his consequence as a kinsman of Crom- 
well, and the Lord General, who was wellnigh paramount 
already, was known to be strongly favourable both to 
the elder and younger Everard. It is true, they were 
Presbyterians and he an Independent; and that, though 
sharing those feelings of correct morality and more de- 
voted religious feeling by which, with few exceptions, 
the Parliamentarian party were distinguished, the Ever- 
ards were not disposed to carry these attributes to the 
extreme of enthusiasm practised by so many others at 
the time. Yet it was well known that, whatever might 
be Cromwell's own religious creed, he was not uniformly 



bounded by it in the choice of his favourites, but ex- 
tended his countenance to those who could serve him, 
even although, according to the phrase of the time, they 
came out of the darkness of Egj^^t. The character of 
the elder Everard stood very high for wisdom and 
sagacity; besides, being of a good family and competent 
fortune, his adherence would lend a dignity to any side 
he might espouse. Then his son had been a distin- 
guished and successful soldier, remarkable for the dis- 
cipline he maintained among his men, the bravery 
which he showed in the time of action, and the humanity 
with which he was always ready to qualify the conse- 
quences of victory. Such men were not to be neglected, 
when many signs combined to show that the parties 
in the state who had successfully accomplished the de- 
position and death of the King were speedily to quarrel 
among themselves about the division of the spoils. 
The two Everards were therefore much courted by 
Cromwell, and their influence with him was supposed 
to be so great, that trusty Master Secretary Tomkins 
cared not to expose himself to risk, by contending with 
Colonel Everard for such a trifle as a night's lodging. 
Joceline was active on his side: more lights were ob- 
tained, more wood thrown on the fire, and the two newly- 
arrived strangers were introduced into Victor Lee's par- 
lour, as it was called, from the picture over the chimney- 
piece, which we have already described. It was several 
minutes ere Colonel Everard could recover his general 
stoicism of deportment, so strongly was he impressed 
by finding himself in the apartment under whose roof 
he had passed so many of the happiest hours of his fife. 
There was the cabinet which he had seen opened with 



such feelings of delight when Sir Henry Lee deigned to 
give him instructions in fishing, and to exhibit hooks and 
lines, together with all the materials for making the 
artificial fly, then little known. There hung the ancient 
family picture, which, from some odd mysterious ex- 
pressions of his uncle relating to it, had become to his 
boyhood, nay, his early youth, a subject of curiosity 
and of fear. He remembered how, when left alone in the 
apartment, the searching eye of the old warrior seemed 
always bent upon his, in whatever part of the room he 
placed himself, and how his childish imagination was 
perturbed at a phenomenon for which he could not ac- 

With these came a thousand dearer and warmer re- 
collections of his early attachment to his pretty cousin 
Alice, when he assisted her at her lessons, brought water 
for her flowers, or accompanied her while she sung; and 
he remembered that, while her father looked at them 
with a good-humoured and careless smile, he had once 
heard him mutter, 'And if it should turn out so, why it 
might be best for both,' and the theories of happiness he 
had reared on these words. All these visions had been 
dispelled by the trumpet of war, which called Sir Henry 
Lee and himself to opposite sides; and the transactions 
of this very day had shown that even Everard's success 
as a soldier and a statesman seemed absolutely to pro- 
hibit the chance of their being revived. 

He was waked out of this unpleasing reverie by the 
approach of Joceline, who, being possibly a seasoned 
toper, had made the additional arrangements with more 
expedition and accuracy than could have been expected 
from a person engaged as he had been since night-fall. 



He now wished to know the colonel's directions for 
the night. 

'Would he eat anything?' 


'Did his honour choose to accept Sir Henry Lee's 
bed, which was ready prepared? ' 


'That of Mistress Alice Lee should be prepared for 
the secretary.' 

'On pain of thine ears — no,' replied Everard. 

'Where then was the worthy secretary to be quar- 

'In the dog-kennel, if you list,' repHed Colonel Ever- 
ard; 'but,' added he, stepping to the sleeping-apartment 
of Alice, which opened from the parlour, locking it and 
taking out the key, 'no one shall profane this chamber.' 

' Had his honour any other commands for the night? ' 

'None, save to clear the apartment of yonder man. 
My clerk will remain with me : I have orders which must 
be written out. Yet stay. Thou gavest my letter this 
morning to Mistress Alice? ' 

'I did.' 

'Tell me, good Joceline, what she said when she re- 
ceived it? ' 

'She seemed much concerned, sir; and indeed I think 
that she wept a little — but indeed she seemed very 
much distressed.' 

'And what message did she send to me?' 

'None, may it please your honour. She began to say, 

"Tell my cousin Everard that I will communicate my 

uncle's kind purpose to my father, if I can get fitting 

opportunity; but that I greatly fear — " and there 

37 97 


checked herself, as it were, and said, "I will write to my 
cousin; and as it may be late ere I have an opportunity 
of speaking with my father, do thou come for my answer 
after service." So I went to church myself to while away 
the time; but when I returned to the chase, I found this 
man had summoned my master to surrender, and, right 
or wrong, I must put him in possession of the lodge. 
I would fain have given your honour a hint that the old 
knight and my young mistress were like to take you on 
the form, but I could not mend the matter.' 

' Thou hast done well, good fellow, and I will remember 
thee. And now, my masters,' he said, advancing to the 
brace of clerks or secretaries, who had in the mean while 
sate quietly down beside the stone bottle, and made up 
acquaintance over a glass of its contents, * let me remind 
you that the night wears late.' 

'There is something cries tinkle, tinkle, in the bottle 
yet,' said Wildrake, in reply. 

* Hem ! hem ! hem ! ' coughed the colonel of the Parlia- 
ment service; and if his lips did not curse his compan- 
ion's imprudence, I will not answer for what arose in his 
heart. 'Well!' he said, observing that Wildrake had 
filled his own glass and Tomkins's, * take that parting 
glass and begone.' 

'Would you not be pleased to hear first,' said Wild- 
rake, 'how this honest gentleman saw the Devil to- 
night look through a pane of yonder window, and how 
he thinks he had a mighty strong resemblance to your 
worship's humble slave and varlet scribbler? Would you 
but hear this, sir, and just sip a glass of this very re- 
commendable strong waters? ' 

*I will drink none, sir,' said Colonel Everard, sternly; 



'and I have to tell you that you have drunken a glass 
too much already. Mr. Tomkins, sir, I wish you good- 

'A word in season at parting,' said Tomkins, stand- 
ing up behind the long leathern back of a chair, hem- 
ming and snufifling as if preparing for an exhortation. 

'Excuse me, sir,' repHed Markham Everard; 'you 
are not now sufficiently yourself to guide the devotion 
of others.' 

'Woe be to them that reject — !' said the secretary 
of the Commissioners, stalking out of the room ; the rest 
was lost in shutting the door, or suppressed for fear of 

* And now, fool Wildrake, begone to thy bed — 
yonder it lies,' pointing to the knight's apartment. 

'What, thou hast secured the lady's for thyself? I 
saw thee put the key in thy pocket.' 

'I would not, indeed I could not, sleep in that apart- 
ment. I can sleep nowhere; but I will watch in this 
arm-chair. I have made him place wood for repairing 
the fire. Good now, go to bed thyself, and sleep off thy 

'Liquor! I laugh thee to scorn, Mark; thou art a 
milksop, and the son of a milksop, and know'st not what 
a good fellow can do in the way of crushing an honest 

' The whole vices of his faction are in this poor fellow 
individually,' said the colonel to himself, eyeing his 
protege, askance, as the other retreated into the bedroom 
with no very steady pace. 'He is reckless, intemperate, 
dissolute; and if I cannot get him safely shipped for 
France, he will certainly be both his own ruin and mine. 



Yet, withal, he is kind, brave, and generous, and would 
have kept the faith with me which he now expects from 
me; and in what consists the merit of our truth, if we ob- 
serve not our plighted word when we have promised to 
our hurt? I will take the liberty, however, to secure 
myself against further interruption on his part.' 

So saying, he locked the door of communication be- 
twixt the sleeping-room, to which the Cavalier had re- 
treated, and the parlour; and then, after pacing the 
floor thoughtfully, returned to his seat, trimmed the 
lamp, and drew out a number of letters. *I will read 
these over once more,' he said, Hhat, if possible, the 
thought of public affairs may expel this keen sense of 
personal sorrow. Gracious Providence, where is this to 
end? We have sacrificed the peace of our famihes, the 
warmest wishes of our young hearts, to right the coun- 
try in which we were born, and to free her from op- 
pression; yet it appears that every step we have made 
towards liberty has but brought us in view of new and 
more terrific perils, as he who travels in a mountainous 
region is, by every step which elevates him higher, 
placed in a situation of more imminent hazard.' 

He read long and attentively various tedious and em- 
barrassed letters, in which the writers, placing before 
him the glory of God, and the freedom and liberties of 
England, as their supreme ends, could not, by all the 
ambagitory expressions they made use of, prevent the 
shrewd eye of Markham Everard from seeing that self- 
interest and views of ambition were the principal mov- 
ing-springs at the bottom of their plots. 


Sleep steals on us even like his brother Death: 

We know not when it comes; we know it must come. 

We may affect to scorn and to contemn it, 

For 't is the highest pride of human misery 

To say it knows not of an opiate; 

Yet the reft parent, the despairing lover. 

Even the poor wretch who waits for execution, 

Feels this oblivion, against which he thought 

His woes had arm'd his senses, steal upon him. 

And through the fenceless citadel, the body, 

Surprise that haughty garrison, the mind. 


Colonel Everard experienced the truth contained in 
the verses of the quaint old bard whom we have quoted 
above. Amid private grief, and anxiety for a country^ 
long a prey to civil war, and not Ukely to fall soon under 
any fixed or well-established form of government, 
Everard and his father had, Hke many others, turned 
their eyes to General Cromwell, as the person whose 
valour had made him the darhng of the army, whose 
strong sagacity had hitherto predominated over the 
high talents by which he had been assailed in Parliament, 
as well as over his enemies in the field, and who was 
alone in the situation to ' settle the nation,' as the phrase 
then went, or, in other words, to dictate the mode of 
government. The father and son were both reputed to 
stand high in the General's favour. But Markham 
Everard was conscious of some particulars which induced 
him to doubt whether Cromwell actually, and at heart, 
bore either to his father or to himself that good-will 
which was generally believed. He knew him for a pro- 


sma %mm smE coliese or 


found politician, who could veil for any length of time 
his real sentiments of men and things, until they could 
be displayed without prejudice to his interest. And he, 
moreover, knew that the General was not Hkely to forget 
the opposition which the Presbyterian party had offered 
to what Oliver called the ' great matter ' — the trial, 
namely, and execution of the King. In this opposition 
his father and he had anxiously concurred, nor had the 
arguments, nor even the half-expressed threats, of 
Cromwell induced them to flinch from that course, far 
less to permit their names to be introduced into the 
commission nominated to sit in judgment on that 
memorable occasion. 

This hesitation had occasioned some temporary cold- 
ness between the General and the Everards, father and 
son. But as the latter remained in the army, and bore 
'arms under Cromwell both in Scotland and finally at 
Worcester, his services very frequently called forth the 
approbation of his commander. After the fight of 
Worcester, in particular, he was among the number of 
those officers on whom Oliver, rather considering the 
actual and practical extent of his own power than the 
name under which he exercised it, was with difficulty 
withheld from imposing the dignity of knights-ban- 
nerets at his own will and pleasure. It therefore seemed 
that all recollection of former disagreement was obliter- 
ated, and that the Everards had regained their former 
stronghold in the General's affections. There were, 
indeed, several who doubted this, and who endeavoured 
to bring over this distinguished young officer to some 
other of the parties which divided the infant Common- 
wealth. But to these proposals he turned a deaf ear. 



Enough of blood, he said, had been spilled: it was time 
that the nation should have repose under a firmly-es- 
tablished government, of strength sufficient to protect 
property, and of lenity enough to encourage the return 
of tranquillity. This, he thought, could only be accom- 
plished by means of Cromwell; and the greater part 
of England was of the same opinion. It is true that, in 
thus submitting to the domination of a successful sol- 
dier, those who did so forgot the principles upon which 
they had drawn the sword against the late king. But 
in revolutions, stern and high principles are often 
obliged to give way to the current of existing circum- 
stances; and in many a case, where wars have been 
waged for points of metaphysical right, they have been 
at last gladly terminated upon the mere hope of ob- 
taining general tranquillity, as, after many a long siege, 
a garrison is often glad to submit on mere security for 
life and limb. 

Colonel Everard, therefore, felt that the support 
which he afforded Cromwell was only under the idea 
that, amid a choice of evils, the least was likely to ensue 
from a man of the General's wisdom and valour being 
placed at the head of the state; and he was sensible that 
Oliver himself was Hkely to consider his attachment a? 
lukewarm and imperfect, and measure his gratitude for 
it upon the same Hmited scale. 

In the mean while, however, circumstances com- 
pelled him to make trial of the General's friendship. 
The sequestration of Woodstock, and the warrant to 
the Commissioners to dispose of it as national property, 
had been long granted, but the interest of the elder 
Everard had for weeks and months deferred its execu- 



tion. The hour was now approaching when the blow 
could be no longer parried, especially as Sir Henry Lee, 
on his side, resisted every proposal of submitting him- 
self to the existing government, and was therefore, now 
that his hour of grace was passed, enrolled in the 
list of stubborn and irreclaimable Malignants, with 
whom the Council of State was determined no longer 
to keep terms. The only mode of protecting the old 
knight and his daughter was to interest, if possible, the 
General himself in the matter; and revolving all the cir- 
cumstances connected with their intercourse, Colonel 
Everard felt that a request which would so immedi- 
ately interfere with the interests of Desborough, the 
brother-in-law of Cromwell, and one of the present 
Commissioners, was putting to a very severe trial the 
friendship of the latter. Yet no alternative remained. 
With this view, and agreeably to a request from 
Cromwell, who at parting had been very urgent to have 
his written opinion upon public affairs, Colonel Ever- 
ard passed the earlier part of the night in arranging his 
ideas upon the state of the Commonwealth, in a plan 
which he thought likely to be acceptable to Cromwell, 
as it exhorted him, under the aid of Providence, to be- 
come the saviour of the state, by convoking a free Par- 
liament, and by their aid placing himself at the head of 
some form of Hberal and established government, which 
might supersede the state of anarchy in which the na- 
tion was otherwise likely to be merged. Taking a general 
view of the totally broken condition of the Royalists, 
and of the various factions which now convulsed the 
state, he showed how this might be done without blood- 
shed or violence. From this topic he descended to 



the propriety of keeping up the becoming state of the 
executive government, in whose hands soever it should 
be lodged, and thus showed Cromwell, as the future 
Stadtholder, or Consul, or Lieutenant- General of Great 
Britain and Ireland, a prospect of demesne and resi- 
dences becoming his dignity. Then he naturally passed 
to the disparking and destroying of the royal resi- 
dences of England, made a woful picture of the demo- 
lition which impended over Woodstock, and interceded 
for the preservation of that beautiful seat, as a matter of 
personal favour, in which he found himself deeply inter- 

Colonel Everard, when he had finished his letter, did 
not find himself greatly risen in his own opinion. In the 
course of his political conduct, he had till this hour 
avoided mixing up personal motives with his public 
grounds of action, and yet he now felt himself making 
such a composition. But he comforted himself, or at 
least silenced this unpleasing recollection, with the con- 
sideration, that the weal of Britain, studied under the 
aspect of the times, absolutely required that Cromwell 
should be at the head of the government; and that the 
interest of Sir Henry Lee, or rather his safety and his 
existence, no less emphatically demanded the preserva- 
tion of Woodstock, and his residence there. Was it a 
fault of his, that the same road should lead to both these 
ends, or that his private interest and that of the coun- 
try should happen to mix in the same letter? He hard- 
ened himself, therefore, to the act, made up and ad- 
dressed his packet to the Lord General, and then sealed 
it with his seal of arms. This done, he lay back in his 
chair, and, in spite of his expectations to the contrary, 


fell asleep in the course of his reflections, anxious and 
harassing as they were, and did not awaken until the 
cold grey light of dawn was peeping through the eastern 

He started at first, rousing himself with the sensation 
of one who awakes in a place unknown to him ; but the 
localities instantly forced themselves on his recollection. 
The lamp burning dimly in the socket, the wood-fire 
almost extinguished in its own white embers, the gloomy 
picture over the chimney-piece, the sealed packet on 
the table — all reminded him of the events of yesterday, 
and his deliberations of the succeeding night. 

' There is no help for it,' he said: 'it must be Cromwell 
or anarchy. And probably the sense that his title, as 
head of the executive government, is derived merely 
from popular consent may check the too natural prone- 
ness of power to render itself arbitrary. If he govern by 
Parliaments, and with regard to the privileges of the 
subject, wherefore not Oliver as well as Charles? But 
I must take measures for having this conveyed safely 
to the hands of this future sovereign prince. It will be 
well to take the first word of influence with him, since 
there must be many who will not hesitate to recommend 
counsels more violent and precipitate.' 

He determined to entrust the important packet to the 
charge of Wildrake, whose rashness was never so dis- 
tinguished as when by any chance he was left idle and 
unemployed; besides, even if his faith had not been 
otherwise unimpeachable, the obligations which he 
owed to his friend Everard must have rendered it such. 

These conclusions passed through Colonel Everard's 
mind, as, collecting the remains of wood in the chimney, 



he gathered them into a hearty blaze, to remove the 
uncomfortable feeling of chillness which pervaded his 
limbs; and by the time he was a little more warm, 
again sunk into a slumber, which was only dispelled by 
the beams of morning peeping into his apartment. 

He arose, roused himself, walked up and down the 
room, and looked from the large oriel window on the 
nearest objects, which were the untrimmed hedges and 
neglected walks of a certain wilderness, as it is called in 
ancient treatises on gardening, which, kept of yore well 
ordered, and in all the pride of the topiary art, presented 
a succession of yew-trees cut into fantastic forms, of 
close alleys, and of open walks, filling about two or three 
acres of ground on that side of the lodge, and forming a 
boundary between its immediate precincts and the open 
park. Its inclosure was now broken down in many 
places, and the hinds with their fawns fed free and 
unstartled up to the very windows of the silvan palace. 

This had been a favourite scene of Markham's sports 
when a boy. He could still distinguish, though now 
grown out of shape, the verdant battlements of a Gothic 
castle, all created by the gardener's shears, at which he 
was accustomed to shoot his arrows; or, stalking before 
it like the knight-errants of whom he read, was wont to 
blow his horn and bid defiance to the supposed giant or 
Paynim knight by whom it was garrisoned. He remem- 
bered how he used to train his cousin, though several 
years younger than himself, to bear a part in those revels 
of his bo}4sh fancy, and to play the character of an elfin 
page, or a fairy, or an enchanted princess. He remem- 
bered, too, many particulars of their later acquaintance, 
from which he had been almost necessarily led to the 



conclusion, that from an early period their parents had 
entertained some idea that there might be a well-fitted 
match betwixt his fair cousin and himself. A thousand 
visions, formed in so bright a prospect, had vanished 
along with it, hut now returned Hke shadows, to remind 
him of all he had lost — and for what? ' For the sake 
of England,' his proud consciousness replied — *of 
England, in danger of becoming the prey at once of 
bigotry and tyranny.' And he strengthened himself 
with the recollection, *If I have sacrificed my private 
happiness, it is that my country may enjoy liberty of 
conscience and personal freedom, which, under a weak 
prince and usurping statesman, she was but too likely 
to have lost.' 

But the busy fiend in his breast would not be repulsed 
by the bold answer. 'Has thy resistance,' it demanded, 
'availed thy country, Markham Everard? Lies not 
England, after so much bloodshed and so much misery, 
as low beneath the sword of a fortunate soldier as for- 
merly under the sceptre of an encroaching prince? Are 
Parliament, or what remains of them, fitted to contend 
with a leader, master of his soldiers' hearts, as bold and 
subtle as he is impenetrable in his designs? This General, 
who holds the army, and by that the fate of the nation, 
in his hand, will he lay down his power because philo- 
sophy would pronounce it his duty to become a subject?' 

He dared not answer that his knowledge of Cromwell 
authorised him to expect any such act of self-denial. 
Yet still he considered that, in times of such infinite 
difficulty, that must be the best government, however 
little desirable in itself, which should most speedily re- 
store peace to the land, and stop the wounds which the 



contending parties were daily inflicting on each other. 
He imagined that Cromwell was the only authority 
under which a steady government could be formed, and 
therefore had attached himself to his fortune, though 
not without considerable and recurring doubts, how far 
serving the views of this impenetrable and mysterious 
General was consistent with the principles under which 
he had assumed arms. 

While these things passed in his mind, Everard looked 
upon the packet which lay on the table addressed to the 
Lord General, and which he had made up before sleep. 
He hesitated several times, when he remembered its 
purport, and in what degree he must stand committed 
with that personage, and bound to support his plans of 
aggrandisement, when once that communication was in 
OHver Cromwell's possession. 

'Yet it must be so,' he said at last, with a deep sigh. 
'Among the contending parties, he is the strongest, the 
wisest and most moderate, and ambitious though he be, 
perhaps not the most dangerous. Some one must be 
trusted with power to preserve and enforce general or- 
der, and who can possess or wield such power Hke him 
that is head of the victorious armies of England? Come 
what will in future, peace and the restoration of law 
ought to be our first and most pressing object. This 
remnant of a parliament cannot keep their ground 
against the army, by mere appeal to the sanction of 
opinion. If they design to reduce the soldiery, it must 
be by actual warfare, and the land has been too long 
steeped in blood. But Cromwell may, and I trust will, 
make a moderate accommodation with them, on grounds 
by which peace may be preserved; and it is this to which 



we must look and trust for a settlement of the kingdom, 
alas! and for the chance of protecting my obstinate kins- 
man from the consequences of his honest though absurd 

Silencing some internal feelings of doubt and reluc- 
tance by such reasoning as this, Markham Everard 
continued in his resolution to unite himself with Crom- 
well in the struggle which was evidently approaching be- 
twixt the civil and military authorities, not as the course 
which, if at perfect liberty, he would have preferred 
adopting, but as the best choice between two dangerous 
extremities to which the times had reduced him. He 
could not help trembling, however, when he recollected 
that his father, though hitherto the admirer of Cromwell 
as the implement by whom so many marvels had been 
wrought in England, might not be disposed to unite with 
his interest against that of the Long Parliament, of 
which he had been, till partly laid aside by continued 
indisposition, an active and leading member. This 
doubt also he was obliged to swallow, or strangle, as he 
might; but consoled himself with the ready argument, 
that it was impossible his father could see matters in 
another light than that in which they occurred to himself. 


Determined at length to dispatch his packet to the 
General without delay, Colonel Everard approached 
the door of the apartment in which, as was e\'ident from 
the heavy breathing within, the prisoner Wildrake en- 
joyed a deep slumber, under the influence of liquor at 
once and of fatigue. In turning the key, the bolt, which 
was rather rusty, made a resistance so noisy as partly to 
attract the sleeper's attention, though not to awaken 
him. Everard stood by his bedside, as he heard him 
mutter, *Is it morning already, jailer? Why, you dog, 
an you had but a cast of humanity in you, you would 
quaHfy your vile news with a cup of sack; hanging is 
sorry work, my masters, and sorrow 's dry.' 

*Up, Wildrake — up, thou ill-omened dreamer!' said 
his friend, shaking him by the collar. 

' Hands off ! ' answered the sleeper. * I can climb a lad- 
der without help, I trow.' He then sate up in the bed, 
and opening his eyes, stared around him, and exclaimed 
'Zounds! Mark, is it only thou? I thought it was all 
over with me — fetters were struck from my legs — 
rope drawn round my gullet — irons knocked ofif my 
hands — hempen cravat tucked on — all ready for a 
dance in the open element upon slight footing.' 

'Truce with thy folly, Wildrake! Sure the devil of 
drink, to whom thou hast, I think, sold thyself — ' 

'For a hogshead of sack,' interrupted Wildrake; 'the 
bargain was made in a cellar in the Vintry.' 



* I am as mad as thou art, to trust anything to thee,' 
said Markham; 'I scarce believe thou hast thy senses 

'What should ail me?' said Wildrake; 'I trust I have 
not tasted liquor in my sleep, saving that I dreamed of 
drinking small-beer with Old Noll, of his own brewing. 
But do not look so glum, man: I am the same Roger 
Wildrake that I ever was — as wild as a mallard, but as 
true as a game-cock. I am thine own chum, man, bound 
to thee by thy kind deeds — devindus beneficio — there 
is Latin for it; and where is the thing thou wilt charge 
me with that I will not, or dare not, execute, were it to 
pick the Devil's teeth with my rapier, after he had break- 
fasted upon Roundheads? ' 

'You will drive me mad,' said Everard. 'When I am 
about to entrust all I have most valuable on earth to 
your management, your conduct and language are 
those of a mere Bedlamite. Last night I made allow- 
ance for thy drunken fury; but who can endure thy 
morning madness? It is unsafe for thyself and me, 
Wildrake — it is unkind — I might say ungrateful.' 

'Nay, do not say that, my friend,' said the Cavalier, 
with some show of feeling; 'and do not judge of me with 
a severity that cannot apply to such as I am. We who 
have lost our all in these sad jars, who are compelled 
to shift for our living, not from day to day, but from 
meal to meal — we whose only hiding-place is the jail, 
whose prospect of final repose is the gallows, what canst 
thou expect from us, but to bear such a lot with a light 
heart, since we should break down under it with a heavy 
. This was spoken in a tone of feeling which found a 



responding string in Everard's bosom. He took his 
friend's hand and pressed it kindly. 

*Nay, if I seemed harsh to thee, Wildrake, I profess 
it was for thine own sake more than mine. I know thou 
hast at the bottom of thy levity as deep a principle of 
honour and feeling as ever governed a human heart. 
But thou art thoughtless, thou art rash; and I protest 
to thee, that wert thou to betray thyself in this matter 
in which I trust thee, the evil consequences to myself 
would not afflict me more than the thought of putting 
thee into such danger.' 

'Nay, if you take it on that tone, Mark,' said the 
Cavalier, making an effort to laugh, evidently that he 
might conceal a tendency to a different emotion, ' thou 
wilt make children of us both — babes and sucklings, 
by the hilt of this bilbo. Come, trust me; I can be cau- 
tious when time requires it: no man ever saw me drink 
when an alert was expected; and not one poor pint of 
wine will I taste until I have managed this matter for 
thee. Well, I am thy secretary — clerk, I had forgot — 
and carry thy dispatches to Cromwell, taking good heed 
not to be surprised or choused out of my lump of loyalty 
[striking his finger on the packet], and I am to deliver 
it to the most loyal hands to which it is most humbly 
addressed. Adzooks, Mark, think of it a moment longer. 
Surely thou wilt not carry thy perverseness so far as to 
strike in with this bloody-minded rebel? Bid me give 
him three inches of my dudgeon-dagger, and I will do it 
much more willingly than present him with thy packet.' 

'Go to,' replied Everard, 'this is beyond our bargain. 
If you will help me, it is well; if not, let me lose no time 
in debating with thee, since I think every moment an 

37 113 


age till the packet is in the General's possession. It is 
the only way left me to obtain some protection and a 
place of refuge for my uncle and his daughter.' 

'That being the case/ said the CavaUer, *I will not 
spare the spur. My nag up yonder at the town will be 
ready for the road in a trice, and thou mayst reckon on 
my being with Old Noll — thy General, I mean — in as 
short time as man and horse may consume betwixt 
Woodstock and Windsor, where I think I shall for the 
present find thy friend keeping possession where he has 

* Hush, not a word of that. Since we parted last night, 
I have shaped thee a path which will suit thee better 
than to assume the decency of language and of outward 
manner of which thou hast so little. I have acquainted 
the General that thou hast been by bad example and 
bad education — ' 

'Which is to be interpreted by contraries, I hope,' said 
Wildrake; 'for sure I have been as well born and bred 
up as any lad of Leicestershire might desire.' 

' Now, I prithee hush — thou hast, I say, by bad ex- 
ample, become at one time a Malignant, and mixed in 
the party of the late King. But seeing what things were 
wrought in the nation by the General, thou hast come 
to a clearness touching his calling to be a great imple- 
ment in the settlement of these distracted kingdoms. 
This account of thee will not only lead him to pass over 
some of thy eccentricities, should they break out in 
spite of thee, but will also give thee an interest with him 
as being more especially attached to his own person.' 

'Doubtless,' said Wildrake, 'as every fisher loves best 
the trouts that are of his own tickling.' 



'It is likely, I think, he will send thee hither with 
letters to me,' said the colonel, 'enabling me to put a 
stop to the proceedings of these sequestrators, and to 
give poor old Sir Henry Lee permission to linger out his 
days among the oaks he loves to look upon. I have made 
this my request, to General Cromwell, and I think my 
father's friendship and my own may stretch so far on his 
regard without risk of cracking, especially standing mat- 
ters as they now do — thou dost understand?' 

'Entirely well,' said the CavaUer. 'Stretch, quotha! 
I would rather stretch a rope than hold commerce with 
the old king-kiUing ruffian. But I have said I will be 
guided by thee, Markham, and rat me but I will.' 

'Be cautious then,' said Everard: 'mark well what he 
does and says — more especially what he does, for OHver 
is one of those whose mind is better known by his ac- 
tions than by his words ; and stay — I warrant thee thou 
wert setting off without a cross in thy purse?' 

'Too true, Mark,' said Wildrake, 'the last noble 
melted last night among yonder blackguard troopers 
of yours.' 

'Well, Roger,' rephed the colonel, 'that is easily 
mended,' So saying, he slipped his purse into his 
friend's hand. 'But art thou not an inconsiderate, 
weather-brained fellow, to set forth, as thou wert about 
to do, without anything to bear thy charges? What 
couldst thou have done?' 

'Faith, I never thought of that. I must have cried 
" Stand," I suppose, to the first pursy townsman or 
greasy grazier that I met o' the heath; it is many a good 
fellow's shift in these bad times.' 

'Go to,' said Everard; 'be cautious — use none of 



your loose acquaintance — rule your tongue — beware 
of the wine-pot; for there is little danger if thou couldst 
only but keep thyself sober. Be moderate in speech, 
and forbear oaths or vaunting.' 

*In short, metamorphose myself into such a prig as 
thou art, Mark? Well,' said Wildrake, 'so far as out- 
side will go, I think I can make a Hope-on-High Bomby ^ 
as well as thou canst. Ah! those were merry days when 
we saw Mills present Bomby at the Fortune playhouse, 
Mark, ere I had lost my laced cloak and the jewel in my 
ear, or thou hadst gotten the wrinkle on thy brow and 
the Puritanic twist of thy mustache.' 

'They were like most worldly pleasures, Wildrake,' re- 
plied Everard, 'sweet in the mouth and bitter in diges- 
tion. But away with thee; and when thou bring'st 
back my answer, thou wilt find me either here or at St. 
George's Inn, at the Uttle borough. Good luck to thee. 
Be but cautious how thou bearest thyself.' 

The colonel remained in deep meditation. 'I think,' 
he said, 'I have not pledged myself too far to the Gen- 
eral. A breach between him and the ParHament seems 
inevitable, and would throw England back into civil 
. war, of which all men are wearied. He may disHke my 
messenger; yet that I do not greatly fear. He knows I 
would choose such as I can myself depend on, and hath 
dealt enough with the stricter sort to be aware that 
there are among them, as well as elsewhere, men who 
can hide two faces under one hood.' 

* A Puritanic character in one of Beaumont and Fletcher's plays. 


For there in lofty air was seen to stand 
The stern Protector of the conquer'd land; 
Drawn in that look with which he wept and swore, 
Turn'd out the members, and made fast the door. 
Ridding the House of every knave and drone, 
Forced, though it grieved his soul, to rule alone. 

Crabbe, The Frank Courtship. 

Leaving Colonel Everard to his meditations, we follow 
the jolly CavaHer, his companion, who, before mounting 
at the George, did not fail to treat himself to his morn- 
ing draught of eggs and muscadine, to enable him to face 
the harvest wind. 

Although he had suffered himself to be sunk in the 
extravagant license which was practised by the Cava- 
liers, as if to oppose their conduct in every point to the 
preciseness of their enemies, yet Wildrake, well born and 
well educated, and endowed with good natural parts, 
and a heart which even debauchery, and the wild life of 
a roaring Cavalier, had not been able entirely to corrupt, 
moved on his present embassy with a strange mixture 
of feelings, such as perhaps he had never in his life before 

His feelings as a loyalist led him to detest Cromwell, 
whom in other circumstances he would scarce have 
wished to see, except in a field of battle, where he could 
have had the pleasure to exchange pistol-shots with 
him. But with this hatred there was mixed a certain 
degree of fear. Always victorious wherever he fought, 
the remarkable person whom Wildrake was now ap- 



proaching had acquired that influence over the minds 
of his enemies which constant success is so apt to inspire: 
they dreaded while they hated him ; and joined to these 
feehngs was a restless, meddling curiosity, which made 
a particular feature in Wildrake's character, who, hav- 
ing long had little business of his own, and caring no- 
thing about that which he had, was easily attracted 
by the desire of seeing whatever was curious or interest- 
ing around him. 

'I should like to see the old rascal after all,' he said, 
'were it but to say that I had seen him.' 

He reached Windsor in the afternoon, and felt on his 
arrival the strongest inclination to take up his residence 
at some of his old haunts, when he had occasionally fre- 
quented that fair town in gayer days. But resisting all 
temptations of this kind, he went courageously to the 
principal inn, from which its ancient emblem, the Gar- 
ter, had long disappeared. The master, too, whom 
Wildrake, experienced in his knowledge of landlords 
and hostelries, had remembered a dashing mine host of 
Queen Bess's school, had now sobered down to the 
temper of the times, shook his head when he spoke of 
the Parliament, wielded his spigot with the gravity of a 
priest conducting a sacrifice, wished England a happy 
issue out of all her afflictions, and greatly lauded his 
Excellency the Lord General. Wildrake also remarked 
that his wine was better than it was wont to be, the 
Puritans having an excellent gift of detecting every fal- 
lacy in that matter; and that his measures were less and 
his charges larger — circumstances which he was induced 
to attend to, by mine host talking a good deal about his 



He was told by this important personage that the 
Lord General received frankly all sorts of persons; and 
that he might obtain access to him next morning, at 
eight o'clock, for the trouble of presenting himself at the 
castle gate, and announcing himself as the bearer of dis- 
patches to his Excellency. 

To the castle the disguised Cavalier repaired at the 
hour appointed. Admittance was freely permitted to 
him by the red-coated soldier who, with austere looks, 
and his musket on his shoulder, mounted guard at the 
external gate of that noble building. Wildrake passed 
through the under ward, or court, gazing as he passed 
upon the beautiful chapel, which had but lately re- 
ceived, in darkness and silence, the unhonoured remains 
of the slaughtered King of England. Rough as Wildrake 
was, the recollection of this circumstance affected him 
so strongly, that he had nearly turned back in a sort 
of horror, rather than face the dark and daring man 
to whom, amongst all the actors in that melancholy 
affair, its tragic conclusion was chiefly to be imputed. 
But he felt the necessity of subduing all sentiments of 
this nature, and compelled himself to proceed in a nego- 
tiation entrusted to his conduct by one to whom he was 
so much obliged as Colonel Everard. At the ascent 
which passed by the Round Tower, he looked to the 
ensign-staff, from which the banner of England was 
wont to float. It was gone, with all its rich emblazonry, 
its gorgeous quarterings, and splendid embroidery; and 
in its room waved that of the Commonwealth, the cross 
of St. George, in its colours of blue and red, not yet inter- 
sected by the diagonal cross of Scotland, which was soon 
after assumed, as if in evidence of England's conquest 



over her ancient enemy. This change of ensigns in- 
creased the train of his gloomy reflections, in which, 
although contrary to his wont, he became so deeply 
wrapped, that the first thing which recalled him to him- 
self was the challenge from the sentinel, accompanied 
with a stroke of the butt of his musket on the pavement, 
with an emphasis which made Wildrake start. 

'Whither away, and who are you?' 

'The bearer of a packet,' answered Wildrake, 'to the 
worshipful the Lord General.' 

' Stand till I call the officer of the guard.' 

The corporal made his appearance, distinguished 
above those of his command by a double quantity of 
band round his neck, a double height of steeple-crowned 
hat, a larger allowance of cloak, and a treble proportion 
of sour gravity of aspect. It might be read on his coun- 
tenance that he was one of those resolute enthusiasts 
to whom Oliver owed his conquests, whose religious zeal 
made them even more than a match for the high-spirited 
and high-born Cavaliers that exhausted their valour in 
vain defence of their sovereign's person and crown. He 
looked with grave solemnity at Wildrake, as if he was 
making in his own mind an inventory of his features and 
dress; and having fully perused them, he required 'to 
know his business.' 

'My business,' said Wildrake, as firmly as he could, 
for the close investigation of this man had given him 
some unpleasant nervous sensations — ' my business is 
with your General.' 

'With his Excellency the Lord General, thou wouldst 
say? ' replied the corporal. ' Thy speech, my friend, sa- 
vours too little of the reverence due to his Excellency.' 

1 20 


'D — n his Excellency!' was at the lips of the Cava- 
lier; but prudence kept guard, and permitted not the 
offensive words to escape the barrier. He only bowed, 
and was silent. 

'Follow me,' said the starched figure whom he ad- 
dressed; and Wildrake followed him accordingly into the 
guard-house, which exhibited an interior characteristic 
of the times, and very different from what such miUtary 
stations present at the present day. 

By the fire sat two or three musketeers, listening to 
one who was expounding some reHgious mystery to them. 
He began half beneath his breath, but in tones of great 
volubility, which tones, as he approached the conclu- 
sion, became sharp and eager, as challenging either in- 
stant answer or silent acquiescence. The audience 
seemed to listen to the speaker with immovable features, 
only answering him with clouds of tobacco-smoke, 
which they rolled from under their thick mustaches. On 
a bench lay a soldier on his face; whether asleep or in 
a fit of contemplation it was impossible to decide. In 
the midst of the floor stood an officer, as he seemed by 
his embroidered shoulder-belt and scarf round his waist, 
otherwise very plainly attired, who was engaged in 
drilling a stout bumpkin, lately enlisted, to the manual, 
as it was then used. The motions and words of com- 
mand were twenty at the very least; and until they were 
regularly brought to an end, the corporal did not permit 
Wildrake either to sit down or move forward beyond 
the threshold of the guard-house. So he had to Hsten 
in succession to — ' Poise your musket — Rest your 
musket — Cock your musket — Handle your primers ' 
— and many other forgotten words of discipline, until 



at length the words, 'Order your musket,' ended the 
drill for the time. 

*Thy name, friend?' said the officer to the recruit, 
when the lesson was over. 

'Ephraim,' answered the fellow, with an affected 
twang through the nose. 

*And what besides Ephraim?' 

'Ephraim Cobb, from the godly city of Glocester, 
where I have dwelt for seven years, serving apprentice 
to a praiseworthy cordwainer.' 

'It is a goodly craft,' answered the officer; 'but cast- 
ing in thy lot with ours, doubt not that thou shalt be set 
beyond thine awl, and thy last to boot.' 

A grim smile of the speaker accompanied this poor 
attempt at a pun; and then turning round to the cor- 
poral, who stood two paces off, with the face of one who 
seemed desirous of speaking, said, ' How now, corporal, 
what tidings?' 

' Here is one with a packet, an please your Excellency,' 
said the corporal. 'Surely my spirit doth not rejoice in 
him, seeing I esteem him as a wolf in sheep's clothing.' 

By these words, Wildrake learned that he was in the 
actual presence of the remarkable person to whom he 
was commissioned; and he paused to consider in what 
manner he ought to address him. 

The figure of Oliver Cromwell was, as is generally 
known, in no way prepossessing. He was of middle 
stature, strong and coarsely made, with harsh and se- 
vere features, indicative, however, of much natural 
sagacity and depth of thought. His eyes were grey and 
piercing; his nose too large in proportion to his other 
features, and of a reddish hue. 



His manner of speaking, when he had the purpose to 
make himself distinctly understood, was energetic and 
forcible, though neither graceful nor eloquent. No man 
could on such occasions put his meaning into fewer and 
more decisive words. But when, as it often happened, 
he had a mind to play the orator, for the benefit of peo- 
ple's ears, without enlightening their understanding, 
Cromwell was wont to invest his meaning, or that which 
seemed to be his meaning, in such a mist of words, sur- 
rounding it with so many exclusions and exceptions, and 
fortifying it with such a labyrinth of parentheses, that 
though one of the most shrewd men in England, he was, 
perhaps, the most unintelligible speaker that ever per- 
plexed an audience. It has been long since said by the 
historian, that a collection of the Protector's speeches 
would make, with a few exceptions, the most nonsensical 
book in the world; but he ought to have added, that 
nothing could be more nervous, concise, and intelligible 
than what he really intended should be understood. 

It was also remarked of Cromwell, that, though born 
of a good family, both by father and mother, and al- 
though he had the usual opportunities of education and 
breeding connected with such an advantage, the fanatic 
democratic ruler could never acquire, or else disdained 
to practise, the courtesies usually exercised among the 
higher classes in their intercourse with each other. His 
demeanour was so blunt as sometimes might be termed 
clownish, yet there was in his language and manner a 
force and energy corresponding to his character, which 
impressed awe, if it did not impose respect; and there 
were even times when that dark and subtle spirit ex- 
panded itself, so as almost to conciliate afifection. The 



turn for humour, which displayed itself by fits, was 
broad, and of a low, and sometimes practical, character. 
Something there was in his disposition congenial to 
that of his countrymen — a contempt of folly, a hatred 
of affectation, and a dislike of ceremony, which, joined 
to the strong intrinsic qualities of sense and courage, 
made him in many respects not an unfit representative 
of the democracy of England. 

His religion must always be a subject of much doubt, 
and probably of doubt which he himself could hardly 
have cleared up. Unquestionably there was a time in his 
life when he was sincerely enthusiastic, and when his 
natural temper, slightly subject to hypochondria, was 
strongly agitated by the same fanaticism which influ- 
enced so many persons of the time. On the other hand, 
there were periods during his poHtical career when we 
certainly do him no injustice in charging him with a 
hypocritical affectation. We shall probably judge him, 
and others of the same age, most truly, if we suppose 
that their religious professions were partly influential 
in their own breast, partly assumed in compliance with 
their own interest. And so ingenious is the human heart 
in deceiving itself as well as others, that it is probable 
neither Cromwell himself nor those making similar pre- 
tensions to distinguished piety could exactly have fixed 
the point at which their enthusiasm terminated and 
their hypocrisy commenced; or rather, it was a point not 
fixed in itself, but fluctuating with the state of health, 
of good or bad fortune, of high or low spirits, affecting 
the individual at the period. 

Such was the celebrated person who, turning round on 
Wildrake, and scanning his countenance closely, seemed 



so little satisfied with what he beheld, that he instinct- 
ively hitched forward his belt, so as to bring the handle 
of his tuck-sword within his reach. But yet, folding his 
arms in his cloak, as if upon second thoughts laying 
aside suspicion, or thinking precaution beneath him, he 
asked the Cavaher what he was and whence he came. 

'A poor gentleman, sir — that is, my lord,' answered 
Wildrake, 'last from Woodstock.' 

'And what may your tidings be, sir gentleman?' said 
Cromwell, with an emphasis. ' Truly I have seen those 
most willing to take upon them that title bear them- 
selves somewhat short of wise men, and good men, and 
true men, with all their gentiUty. Yet gentleman was 
a good title in Old England, when men remembered 
what it was construed to mean.' 

'You say truly, sir/ repHed Wildrake, suppressing, 
with difficulty, some of his usual wild expletives; 'for- 
merly gentlemen were found in gentlemen's places, 
but now the world is so changed, that you shall find 
the broidered belt has changed place with the under 

'Sayst thou me?' said the General. 'I profess thou 
art a bold companion, that can bandy words so wan- 
tonly: thou ring'st somewhat too loud to be good metal, 
methinks. And once again, what are thy tidings with 

'This packet,' said Wildrake, 'commended to your 
hands by Colonel Markham Everard.' 

'Alas, I must have mistaken thee,' answered Crom- 
well, mollified at the mention of a man's name whom he 
had great desire to make his own; 'forgive us, good 
friend, for such, we doubt not, thou art. Sit thee down, 



and commune with thyself as thou mayst, until we have 
examined the contents of thy packet. Let him be looked 
to, and have what he lacks.' So saying, the General left 
the guard-house, where Wildrake took his seat in the 
corner, and awaited with patience the issue of his mis- 

The soldiers now thought themselves obliged to treat 
him with more consideration, and offered him a pipe 
of Trinidado, and a black-jack filled with October. But 
the look of Cromwell, and the dangerous situation in 
which he might be placed by the least chance of detec- 
tion, induced Wildrake to decline these hospitable offers, 
and stretching back in his chair and affecting slumber, 
he escaped notice or conversation, until a sort of aide- 
de-camp, or miHtary officer, in attendance came to sum- 
mon him to Cromwell's presence. 

By this person he was guided to a postern-gate, 
through which he entered the body of the castle, and 
penetrating through many private passages and stair- 
cases, he at length was introdijced into a small cabinet 
or parlour, in which was much rich furniture, some bear- 
ing the royal cipher displayed, but all confused and dis- 
arranged, together with several paintings in massive 
frames, having their faces turned towards the wall, as 
if they had been taken down for the purpose of being 

In this scene of disorder, the victorious General of the 
Commonwealth was seated in a large easy-chair, cov- 
ered with damask, and deeply embroidered, the splend- 
our of which made a strong contrast with the plain, 
and even homely character of his apparel; although in 
look and action he seemed like one who felt that the seat 



which might have in former days held a prince was not 
too much distinguished for his own fortunes and ambi- 
tion. Wildrake stood before him, nor did he ask him to 
sit down. 

'Pearson,' said Cromwell, addressing himself to the 
officer in attendance, 'wait in the gallery, but be within 
call.' Pearson bowed, and was retiring. 'Who are in 
the gallery besides? ' 

'Worthy Mr. Gordon, the chaplain, was holding forth 
but now to Colonel Overton and four captains of your 
Excellency's regiment.' 

'We would have it so,' said the General: 'we would 
not there were any corner in our dwelling where the 
hungry soul might not meet with manna. Was the good 
man carried onward in his discourse?' 

'Mightily borne through,' said Pearson; 'and he was 
touching the rightful claims which the army, and espe- 
cially your Excellency, hath acquired, by becoming the 
instruments in the great work — not instruments to be 
broken asunder and cast away when the day of their 
service is over, but to be preserved and held precious, 
and prized for their honourable and faithful labours, 
for which they have fought and marched, and fasted 
and prayed, and suffered cold and sorrow; while others, 
who would now gladly see them disbanded, and broken, 
and cashiered, eat of the fat and drink of the strong.' 

'Ah, good man!' said Cromwell, 'and did he touch 
upon this so feelingly? I could say something — but 
not now. Begone, Pearson, to the gallery. Let not our 
friends lay aside their swords, but watch as well as 

Pearson retired; and the General, holding the letter 


of Everard in his hand, looked again for a long while 
fixedly at Wildrake, as if considering in what strain he 
should address him. 

When he did speak, it was, at first, in one of those 
ambiguous discourses which we have already described, 
and by which it was very difficult for any one to under- 
stand his meaning, if, indeed, he knew it himself. We 
shall be as concise in our statement as our desire to 
give the very words of a man so extraordinary will per- 

'This letter,' he said, 'you have brought us from your 
master, or patron, Markham Everard; truly an excellent 
and honourable gentleman as ever bore a sword upon 
his thigh, and one who hath ever distinguished himself 
in the great work of delivering these three poor and un- 
happy nations. Answer me not — I know what thou 
wouldst say. And this letter he hath sent to me by 
thee, his clerk, or secretary, in whom he hath confidence, 
and in whom he prays me to have trust, that there may 
be a careful messenger between us. And lastly, he hath 
sent thee to me — do not answer — I know what thou 
wouldst say — to me, who, albeit I am of that small 
consideration, that it would be too much honour for 
me even to bear a halberd in this great and victorious 
army of England, am nevertheless exalted to the rank 
of holding the guidance and the leading-staff thereof. 
Nay, do not answer, my friend — I know what thou 
wouldst say. Now, when communing thus together, 
our discourse taketh, in respect to what I have said, a 
threefold argument, or division: First, as it concerneth 
thy master; secondly, as it concerneth us and our office; 
thirdly and lastly, as it toucheth thyself. Now, as con- 



cerning this good and worthy gentleman, Colonel Mark- 
ham Everard, truly he hath played the man from the 
beginning of these unhappy buffetings, not turning to 
the right or to the left, but holding ever in his eye the 
mark at which he aimed. Ay, truly, a faithful, honour- 
able gentleman, and one who may well call me friend; 
and truly I am pleased to think that he doth so. Never- 
theless, in this vale of tears, we must be governed less 
by our private respects and partialities than by those 
higher principles and points of duty whereupon the 
good Colonel Markham Everard hath ever framed his 
purposes, as, truly, I have endeavoured to form mine, 
that we may all act as becometh good Englishmen and 
worthy patriots. Then, as for Woodstock, it is a great 
thing which the good colonel asks, that it should be taken 
from the spoil of the godly, and left in keeping of the 
men of Moab, and especially of the MaUgnant, Henry 
Lee, whose hand hath been ever against us when he 
might find room to raise it — I say, he hath asked a 
great thing, both in respect of himself and me. For we 
of this poor but godly army of England are holden, by 
those of the Parhament, as men who should render in 
spoil for them, but be no sharer of it ourselves; even as 
the buck, which the hounds pull to earth, furnisheth no 
part of their own food, but they are lashed off from the 
carcass with whips, Uke those which require punishment 
for their forwardness, not reward for their services. Yet 
I speak not this so much in respect of this grant of 
Woodstock, in regard that, perhaps, their Lordships 
of the Council, and also the Committeemen of this 
Parliament, may graciously think they have given me 
a portion in the matter, in relation that my kinsman 

37 129 


Desborough hath an interest allowed him therein; which 
interest, as he hath well deserved it for his true and 
faithful service to these unhappy and devoted countries, 
so it would ill become me to diminish the same to his 
prejudice, unless it were upon great and public respects. 
Thus thou seest how it stands with me, my honest 
friend, and in what mind I stand touching thy master's 
request to me; which yet I do not say that I can alto- 
gether, or unconditionally, grant or refuse, but only 
tell my simple thoughts with regard thereto. Thou 
understandest me, I doubt not?' 

Now, Roger Wildrake, with all the attention he had 
been able to pay to the Lord General's speech, had got 
so much confused among the various clauses of the 
harangue, that his brain was bewildered, like that of a 
country clown when he chances to get himself involved 
among a crowd of carriages, and cannot stir a step to 
get out of the way of one of them, without being in 
danger of being ridden over by the others. 

The General saw his look of perplexity, and began a 
new oration, to the same purpose as before: spoke of 
his love for his kind friend the colonel; his regard for his 
pious and godly kinsman. Master Desborough; the great 
importance of the palace and park of Woodstock; the 
determination of the Parliament that it should be con- 
fiscated, and the produce brought into the coffers of the 
state ; his own deep veneration for the authority of Par- 
liament, and his no less deep sense of the injustice done 
to the army; how it was his wish and will that all mat- 
ters should be settled in an amicable and friendly 
manner, without self-seeking, debate, or strife, betwixt 
those who had been the hands acting and such as had 



been the heads governing in that great national cause; 
how he was willing, truly willing, to contribute to this 
work, by laying down, not his commission only, but his 
life also, if it were requested of him, or could be granted 
with safety to the poor soldiers, to whom, poor silly 
men, he was bound to be as a father, seeing that 
they had followed him with the duty and affection of 

And here he arrived at another dead pause, leaving 
Wildrake as uncertain as before whether it was or was 
not his purpose to grant Colonel Everard the powers 
he had asked for the protection of Woodstock against 
the Parliamentary Commissioners. Internally he began 
to entertain hopes that the justice of Heaven, or the 
effects of remorse, had confounded the regicide's under- 
standing. But no, he could see nothing but sagacity in 
that steady, stern eye, which, while the tongue poured 
forth its periphrastic language in such profusion, seemed 
to watch with severe accuracy the effect which his ora- 
tory produced on the listener. 

'Egad,' thought the Cavalier to himself, becoming a 
little familiar with the situation in which he was placed, 
and rather impatient of a conversation which led to no 
visible conclusion or termination, *if Noll were the devil 
himself, as he is the devil's darling, I will not be thus 
nose-led by him. I 'U e'en brusque it a little, if he goes 
on at this rate, and try if I can bring him to a more 
intelligible mode of speaking.' 

Entertaining this bold purpose, but half afraid to 
execute it, Wildrake lay by for an opportunity of mak- 
ing the attempt, while Cromwell was apparently unable 
to express his own meaning. He was already beginning 



a third panegyric upon Colonel Everard, with sundry 
varied expressions of his own wish to oblige him, when 
Wildrake took the opportunity to strike in, on the 
General's making one of his oratorical pauses. 

'So please you,' he said, bluntly, 'your worship has 
already spoken on two topics of your discourse, your 
own worthiness and that of my master, Colonel Ever- 
ard. But, to enable me to do mine errand, it would be 
necessary to bestow a few words on the third head.' 

'The third!' said Cromwell. 

'Ay,' said Wildrake, 'which, in your honour's sub- 
division of your discourse, touched on my imworthy self. 
What am I to do — what portion am I to have in this 

Oliver started at once from the tone of voice he had 
hitherto used, and which somewhat resembled the purr- 
ing of a domestic cat, into the growl of the tiger when 
about to spring. ' Thy portion, jail-bird ! ' he exclaimed, 
' the gallows : thou shalt hang as high as Haman, if thou 
betray counsel! But,' he added, softening his voice, 
'keep it like a true man, and my favour will be the 
making of thee. Come hither; thou art bold, I see, 
though somewhat saucy. Thou hast been a Malignant, 
so writes my worthy friend Colonel Everard; but thou 
hast now given up that falling cause. I tell thee, friend, 
not all that the Parliament or the army could do would 
have pulled down the Stuarts out of their high places, 
saving that Heaven had a controversy with them. Well, 
it is a sweet and comely thing to buckle on one's armour 
in behalf of Heaven's cause; otherwise truly, for mine 
own part, these men might have remained upon the 
throne even unto this day. Neither do I blame any for 



aiding them, until these successive great Judgments 
have overwhelmed them and their house. I am not a 
bloody man, having in me the feeling of human frailty; 
but, friend, whosoever putteth his hand to the plough, 
in the great actings which are now on foot in these na- 
tions, had best beware that he do not look back; for 
rely upon my simple word, that, if you fail me, I will 
not spare on you one foot's length of the gallows of Ha- 
man. Let me therefore know, at a word, if the leaven 
of thy malignancy is altogether drubbed out of thee?' 

'Your honourable lordship,' said the Cavalier, shrug- 
ging up his shoulders, ' has done that for most of us, so 
far as cudgelling to some tune can perform it.' 

'Sayst thou?' said the General, with a grim smile on 
his lip, which seemed to intimate that he was not quite 
inaccessible to flattery; 'yea, truly, thou dost not lie in 
that: we have been an instrument. Neither are we, as I 
have already hinted, so severely bent against those who 
have striven against us as Malignants as others may be. 
The Parliament-men best know their own interest and 
their own pleasure; but, to my poor thinking, it is full 
time to close these jars, and to allow men of all kinds 
the means of doing service to their country; and we 
think it will be thy fault if thou art not employed to 
good purpose for the state and thyself, on condition 
thou puttest away the old man entirely from thee, and 
givest thy earnest attention to what I have to tell thee.' 

'Your lordship need not doubt my attention,' said the 

And the republican General, after another pause, as 
one who gave his confidence not without hesitation, pro- 
ceeded to explain his views with a distinctness which he 



seldom used, yet not without his being a little biassed 
now and then by his long habits of circumlocution 
which indeed he never laid entirely aside, save in the 
field of battle. 

'Thou seest/ he said, 'my friend, how things stand 
with me. The Parliament, I care not who knows it, love 
me not; still less do the Council of State, by whom 
they manage the executive government of the kingdom. 
I cannot tell why they nourish suspicion against me, 
unless it is because I will not deliver this poor innocent 
army, which has followed me in so many military ac- 
tions, to be now pulled asunder, broken piecemeal and 
reduced, so that they who have protected the state at 
the expense of their blood will not have, perchance, the 
means of feeding themselves by their labour; which, 
methinks, were hard measure, since it is taking from 
Esau his birthright, even without giving him a poor mess 
of pottage.' 

*Esau is likely to help himself, I think,' replied Wild- 

'Truly, thou sayst wisely,' replied the General: 'it is 
ill starving an armed man, if there is food to be had for 
taking; nevertheless, far be it from me to encourage 
rebelUon, or want of due subordination to these our 
rulers. I would only petition in a due and becoming, a 
sweet and harmonious, manner that they would Hsten 
to our conditions and consider our necessities. But, sir, 
looking on me, and estimating me so little as they do, 
you must think that it would be a provocation in me 
towards the Council of State, as well as the Parliament, 
if, simply to gratify your worthy master, I were to act 
contrary to their purposes, or deny currency to the com- 



mission under their authority, which is as yet the high- 
est in the state — and long may it be so for me — to 
carry on the sequestration which they intend. And would 
it not also be said that I was lending myself to the 
Malignant interest, affording this den of the blood- 
thirsty and lascivious tyrants of yore to be in this our 
day a place of refuge to that old and inveterate Amale- 
kite. Sir Henry Lee, to keep possession of the place in 
which he hath so long glorified himself? Truly it would 
be a perilous matter.' 

'Am I then to report,' said Wildrake, ' an it please you, 
that you cannot stead Colonel Everard in this matter?' 

'Unconditionally, ay; but, taken conditionally, the 
answer may be otherwise,' answered Cromwell. 'I see 
thou art not able to fathom my purpose, and therefore 
I will partly unfold it to thee. But take notice that, 
should thy tongue betray my counsel, save in so far as 
carrying it to thy master, by all the blood which has 
been shed in these wild times, thou shalt die a thousand 
deaths in one!' 

'Do not fear me, sir,' said Wildrake, whose natural 
boldness and carelessness of character was for the pres- 
ent time borne down and quelled, like that of falcons in 
the presence of the eagle. 

'Hear me, then,' said Cromwell, 'and let no syllable 
escape thee. Knowest thou not the young Lee whom 
they call Albert, a Malignant like his father, and one 
who went up with the Young Man to that last rufHe 
which we had with him at Worcester — may we be 
grateful for the victory!' 

'I know there is such a young gentleman as Albert 
Lee,' said Wildrake. 



'And knowest thou not — I speak not by way of pry- 
ing into the good colonel's secrets, but only as it behoves 
me to know something of the matter, that I may best 
judge how I am to serve him — knowest thou not that 
thy master, Markham Everard, is a suitor after the 
sister of this same Mahgnant, a daughter of the old 
keeper, called Sir Henry Lee?' 

'All this I have heard,' said Wildrake, 'nor can I deny 
that I believe in it.' 

'Well then, go to. When the young man Charles 
Stuart fled from the field of Worcester, and was by sharp 
chase and pursuit compelled to separate himself from his 
followers, I know by sure inteUigence that this Albert 
Lee was one of the last who remained with him, if not 
indeed the very last.' 

'It was deviHsh Uke him,' said the Cavalier, without 
sufficiently weighing his expressions, considering in what 
presence they were to be uttered. 'And I '11 uphold him 
with my rapier to be a true chip of the old block.' 

*Ha, swearest thou?' said the General. 'Is this thy 
reformation? ' 

'I never swear, so please you,' replied Wildrake, recol- 
lecting himself, ' except there is some mention of Malig- 
nants and Cavaliers in my hearing; and then the old 
habit returns, and I swear like one of Goring's troopers.' 

'Out upon thee,' said the General; 'what can it avail 
thee to practise a profanity so horrible to the ears of 
ochers, and which brings no emolument to him who uses 

'There are, doubtless, more profitable sins in the 
world than the barren and unprofitable vice of swearing,' 
was the answer which rose to the lips of the Cavalier; 



but that was exchanged for a profession of regret for 
having given offence. The truth was, the discourse be- 
gan to take a turn which rendered it more interesting 
than ever to Wildrake, who therefore determined not to 
lose the opportunity for obtaining possession of the 
secret that seemed to be suspended on Cromwell's lips; 
and that could only be through means of keeping guard 
upon his own. 

'What sort of a house is Woodstock?' said the Gen- 
eral, abruptly. 

'An old mansion,' said Wildrake, in reply; 'and, so 
far as I could judge by a single night's lodgings, having 
abundance of back-stairs, also subterranean passages, 
and all the communications under ground which are 
common in old raven-nests of the sort.' 

'And places for concealing priests, unquestionably,' 
said Cromwell. 'It is seldom that such ancient houses 
lack secret stalls wherein to mew up these calves of 

'Your Honour's Excellency,' said Wildrake, 'may 
swear to that.' 

'I swear not at all,' repHed the General, drily. 'But 
what think'st thou, good fellow? I will ask thee a blunt 
question — Where will those two Worcester fugitives 
that thou wottest of be more Hkely to take shelter — 
and that they must be sheltered somewhere, I well know 
— than in this same old palace, with all the corners and 
concealments whereof young Albert hath been ac- 
quainted ever since his earhest infancy? ' 

'Truly,' said Wildrake, making an effort to answer the 
question with seeming indifference, while the possibility 
of such an event, and its consequences, flashed fearfully 



upon his mind — * truly, I should be of your honour's 
opinion, but that I think the company who, by the com- 
mission of ParHament, have occupied Woodstock are 
likely to fright them thence, as a cat scares doves from a 
pigeon-house. The neighbourhood, with reverence, of 
Generals Desborough and Harrison will suit ill with 
fugitives from Worcester field.* 

*I thought as much, and so, indeed, would I have it,' 
answered the General. 'Long may it be ere our names 
shall be aught but a terror to our enemies! But in this 
matter, if thou art an active plotter for thy master's 
interest, thou mightst, I should think, work out some- 
thing favourable to his present object.' 

'My brain is too poor to reach the depth of your 
honourable purpose,' said Wildrake. 

'Listen, then, and let it be to profit,' answered Crom- 
well. 'Assuredly the conquest at Worcester was a great 
and crowning mercy; yet might we seem to be but small 
in our thankfulness for the same, did we not do what in 
us lies towards the ultimate improvement and final con- 
clusion of the great work which has been thus prosper- 
ous in our hands, professing, in pure humihty and single- 
ness of heart, that we do not, in any way, deserve our 
instrumentality to be remembered, nay, would rather 
pray and entreat that our name and fortunes were for- 
gotten than that the great work were in itself incom- 
plete. Nevertheless, truly, placed as we now are, it con- 
cerns us more nearly than others — that is if so poor 
creatures should at all speak of themselves as concerned, 
whether more or less, with these changes which have 
been wrought around, not, I say, by ourselves, or our 
own power, but by the destiny to which we were called, 



fulfilling the same with all meekness and humility — I 
say, it concerns us nearly that all things should be done 
in conformity with the great work which hath been 
wrought, and is yet working, in these lands. Such is my 
plain and simple meaning. Nevertheless, it is much to 
be desired that this young man — this King of Scots, as 
he called himself — this Charles Stuart — should not 
escape forth from the nation, where his arrival has 
wrought so much disturbance and bloodshed.' 

'I have no doubt,' said the Cavalier, looking down, 
'that your lordship's wisdom hath directed all things as 
they may best lead towards such a consummation; and I 
pray your pains may be paid as they deserve.' 

*I thank thee, friend,' said Cromwell, with much 
humility; 'doubtless we shall meet our reward, being in 
the hands of a good paymaster, who never passeth 
Saturday night. But understand me, friend — I desire 
no more than my own share in the good work. I would 
heartily do what poor kindness I can to your worthy 
master, and even to you in your degree — for such as I 
do not converse with ordinary men that our presence 
may be forgotten like an everyday's occurrence. We 
speak to men like thee for their reward or their punish- 
ment; and I trust it will be the former which thou in 
thine office wilt merit at my hand.' 

'Your honour,' said Wildrake, 'speaks like one ac- 
customed to command.' 

'True; men's minds are likened to those of my degree 
by fear and reverence,' said the General; 'but enough of 
that, desiring, as I do, no other dependency on my 
special person than is alike to us all upon that which is 
above us. But I would desire to cast this golden ball into 



your master's lap. He hath served against this Charles 
Stuart and his father; but he is a kinsman near to the 
old knight, Lee, and stands well affected towards his 
daughter. Thou also wilt keep a watch, my friend — 
that ruMng look of thine will procure thee the confi- 
dence of every Malignant, and the prey cannot approach 
this cover, as though to shelter, like a coney in the rocks, 
but thou wilt be sensible of his presence.' 

* I make a shift to comprehend your Excellency,' said 
the Cavalier; 'and I thank you heartily for the good 
opinion you have put upon me, and which I pray I may 
have some handsome opportunity of deserving, that I 
may show my gratitude by the event. But still, with 
reverence, your Excellency's scheme seems unlikely 
while Woodstock remains in possession of the sequestra- 
tors. Both the old knight and his son, and far more such 
a fugitive as your honour hinted at, will take special care 
not to approach it till they are removed.' 

* It is for that I have been dealing with thee thus long,' 
said the General. ' I told thee that I was something un- 
willing, upon slight occasion, to dispossess the seques- 
trators by my own proper warrant, although having, 
perhaps, sufficient authority in the state both to do so 
and to despise the murmurs of those who blame me. In 
brief, I would be loth to tamper with my privileges, and 
make experiments between their strength and the 
powers of the commission granted by others, without 
pressing need, or at least great prospect of advantage. 
So, if thy colonel will undertake, for his love of the re- 
public, to find the means of preventing its worst and 
nearest danger, which must needs occur from the escape 
of this Young Man, and will do his endeavour to stay 



him, in case his flight should lead him to Woodstock, 
which I hold very likely, I will give thee an order to these 
sequestrators to evacuate the palace instantly, and to 
the next troop of my regiment, which Ues at Oxford, to 
turn them out by the shoulders, if they make any 
scruples, — ay, even, for example's sake, if they drag 
Desborough out foremost, though he be wedded to my 

'So please you, sir,' said Wildrake, 'and with your 
most powerful warrant, I trust I might expel the Com- 
missioners, even without the aid of your most warlike 
and devout troopers.' 

'That is what I am least anxious about,' replied the 
General : ' I should like to see the best of them sit after I 
had nodded to them to begone — always excepting the 
worshipful House, in whose name our commissions run, 
but who, as some think, will be done with pohtics ere it 
be time to renew them. Therefore, what chiefly con- 
cerns me to know is, whether thy master will embrace a 
traffic which hath such a fair promise of profit with it. 
I am well convinced that, with a scout Uke thee, who 
hast been in the CavaHers' quarters, and canst, I 
should guess, resume thy drinking, ruffianly, health- 
quaffing manners whenever thou hast a mind, he must 
discover where this Stuart hath ensconced himself. 
Either the young Lee will visit the old one in person, or 
he will write to him, or hold communication with him by 
letter. At all events, Markham Everard and thou must 
have an eye in every hair of your head.' While he spoke, 
a flush passed over his brow, he rose from his chair, and 
paced the apartment in agitation. 'Woe to you if you 
suffer the young adventurer to escape me! You had 



better be in the deepest dungeon in Europe than breathe 
the air of England, should you but dream of playing me 
false. I have spoken freely to thee, fellow — more freely 
than is my wont; the time required it. But, to share 
my confidence is like keeping a watch over a powder- 
magazine: the least and most insignificant spark blows 
thee to ashes. Tell your master what I said, but not how 
I said it. Fie, that I should have been betrayed into this 
distemperature of passion! Begone, sirrah. Pearson 
shall bring thee sealed orders. Yet, stay — thou hast 
something to ask.' 

'I would know,' said Wildrake, to whom the visible 
anxiety of the General gave some confidence, 'what is 
the figure of this young gallant, in case I should find 

*A tall, rawboned, swarthy lad, they say he has shot 
up into. Here is his picture by a good hand, some time 
since.' He turned round one of the portraits which 
stood with its face against the wall; but it proved not to 
be that of Charles the Second, but of his unhappy father. 

The first motion of Cromwell indicated a purpose of 
hastily replacing the picture, and it seemed as if an effort 
was necessary to repress his disinclination to look upon 
it. But he did repress it, and, placing the picture against 
the wall, withdrew slowly and sternly, as if, in defiance 
of his own feehngs, he was determined to gain a place 
from which to see it to advantage. It was well for Wild- 
rake that his dangerous companion had not turned an 
eye on him, for his blood also kindled when he saw the 
portrait of his master in the hands of the chief author of 
his death. Being a fierce and desperate man, he com- 
manded his passion with great difl&culty; and if, on its 



first violence, he had been provided with a suitable 
weapon, it is possible Cromwell would never have as- 
cended higher in his bold ascent towards supreme power. 

But this natural and sudden flash of indignation, 
which rushed through the veins of an ordinary man like 
Wildrake, was presently subdued when confronted with 
the strong yet stifled emotion displayed by so powerful a 
character as Cromwell. As the Cavalier looked on his 
dark and bold countenance, agitated by inward and 
indescribable feelings, he found his own violence of spirit 
die away and lose itself in fear and wonder. So true it 
is that, as greater Hghts swallow up and extinguish the 
display of those which are less, so men of great, capa- 
cious, and overruHng minds bear aside and subdue, in 
their cHmax of passion, the more feeble wills and pas- 
sions of others; as, when a river joins a brook, the fiercer 
torrent shoulders aside the smaller stream. 

Wildrake stood a silent, inactive, and almost a terri- 
fied spectator, while Cromwell, assuming a firm stern- 
ness of eye and manner, as one who compels himself to 
look on what some strong internal f eehng renders painful 
and disgustful to him, proceeded, in brief and inter- 
rupted expressions, but yet with a firm voice, to com- 
ment on the portrait of the late king. His words seemed 
less addressed to Wildrake than to be the spontaneous 
unburdening of his own bosom, swelling under recollec- 
tion of the past and anticipation of the future. 

'That Flemish painter,' he said — ' that Antonio Van- 
dyke, what a power he has! Steel may mutilate, war- 
riors may waste and destroy, still the King stands unin- 
jured by time; and our grandchildren, while they read 
his history, may look on liis image, and compare the 



melancholy features with the woful tale. It was a stern 
necessity — it was an awful deed ! The cabn pride of 
that eye might have ruled worlds of crouching French- 
men, or supple Italians, or formal Spaniards; but its 
glances only roused the native courage of the stern 
Englishman. Lay not on poor sinful man, whose breath 
is in his nostrils, the blame that he falls, when Heaven 
never gave him strength of nerves to stand. The weak 
rider is thrown by his unruly horse and trampled to 
death; the strongest man, the best cavaHer, springs to 
the empty saddle, and uses bit and spur till the fiery 
steed knows its master. Who blames him who, mounted 
aloft, rides triumphantly amongst the people, for having 
succeeded where the unskilful and feeble fell and died? 
Verily he hath his reward. Then, what is that piece of 
painted canvas to me more than others? No; let him 
show to others the reproaches of that cold, cahn face, 
that proud yet complaining eye. Those who have acted 
on higher respects have no cause to start at painted 
shadows. Not wealth nor power brought me from my 
obscurity: the oppressed consciences, the injured hber- 
ties of England, were the banner that I followed.' 

He raised his voice so high, as if pleading in his own 
defence before some tribunal, that Pearson, the oflScer in 
attendance, looked into the apartment; and observing 
his master, with his eyes kindHng, his arm extended, his 
foot advanced, and his voice raised, like a general in the 
act of commanding the advance of his army, he in- 
stantly withdrew. 

' It was other than selfish regards that drew me forth 
to action,' continued Cromwell, 'and I dare the world — 
ay, Uving or dead I challenge — to assert that I armed 



for a private cause, or as a means of enlarging my for- 
tunes. Neither was there a trooper in the regiment who 
came there with less of personal evil will to yonder 
unhappy — ' 

At this moment the door of the apartment opened, 
and a gentlewoman entered, who, from her resemblance 
to the General, although her features were soft and fem- 
inine, might be immediately recognised as his daughter. 
She walked up to Cromwell, gently but firmly passed her 
arm through his, and said to him in a persuasive tone, 
'Father, this is not well: you have promised me this 
should not happen.' 

The General hung down his head, like one who was 
either ashamed of the passion to which he had given way 
or of the influence which was exercised over him. He 
}delded, however, to the affectionate impulse, and left 
the apartment, without again turning his head towards 
the portrait which had so much affected him, or looking 
towards Wildrake, who remained fixed in astonishment. 



Doctor. Go to, go to. You have known what you should not. 


WiLDRAKE was left in the cabinet, as we have said, as- 
tonished and alone. It was often noised about that 
Cromwell, the deep and sagacious statesman, the calm 
and intrepid commander, he who had overcome such 
difficulties, and ascended to such heights, that he 
seemed already to bestride the land which he had con- 
quered, had, like many other men of great genius, a con- 
stitutional taint of melancholy, which sometimes dis- 
played itself both in words and actions, and had been 
first observed in that sudden and striking change, when, 
abandoning entirely the dissolute freaks of his youth, he 
embraced a very strict course of religious observances, 
which upon some occasions he seemed to consider as 
bringing him into more near and close contact with the 
spiritual world. This extraordinary man is said some- 
times, during that period of his life, to have given way to 
spiritual delusions, or, as he himself conceived them, 
prophetic inspirations of approaching grandeur, and of 
strange, deep, and mysterious agencies, in which he was 
in future to be engaged, in the same manner as his 
younger years had been marked by fits of exuberant and 
excessive frolic and debaucheries. Something of this 
kind seemed to explain the ebullition of passion which he 
had now manifested. 

With wonder at what he had witnessed, Wildrake felt 


some anxiety on his own account. Though not the most 
reflecting of mortals, he had sense enough to know that 
it is dangerous to be a witness of the infirmities of men 
high in power; and he was left so long by himself, as 
induced him to entertain some secret doubts whether 
the General might not be tempted to take means of 
confining or removing a witness who had seen him 
lowered, as it seemed, by the suggestions of his own con- 
science, beneath that lofty flight which, in general, he 
affected to sustain above the rest of the sublunary 

In this, however, he wronged Cromwell, who was free 
either from an extreme degree of jealous suspicion or 
from any thing which approached towards bloodthirsti- 
ness. Pearson appeared, after a lapse of about an hour, 
and, intimating to Wildrake that he was to follow, con- 
ducted him into a distant apartment, in which he found 
the General seated on a low couch. His daughter was in 
the apartment, but remained at some distance, appar- 
ently busied with some female needlework, and scarce 
turned her head as Pearson and Wildrake entered. 

At a sign from the Lord General, Wildrake ap- 
proached him as before. 'Comrade,' he said, 'your old 
friends the Cavaliers look on me as their enemy, and 
conduct themselves towards me as if they desired to 
make me such. I profess they are labouring to their own 
prejudice; fori regard, and have ever regarded, them 
as honest and honourable fools, who were silly enough 
to run their necks into nooses, and their heads against 
stone walls, that a man called Stuart, and no other, 
should be king over them. Fools! are there no words 
made of letters that would sound as well as Charles 



Stuart with that magic title beside them? Why, the 
word king is like a lighted lamp, that throws the same 
bright gilding upon any combination of the alphabet, 
and yet you must shed your blood for a name ! But thou, 
for my part, shalt have no wrong from me. Here is an 
order, well warranted, to clear the lodge at Woodstock, 
and abandon it to thy master's keeping, or those whom 
he shall appoint. He will have his uncle and pretty 
cousin with him, doubtless. Fare thee well; think on 
what I told thee. They say beauty is a loadstone to 
yonder long lad thou dost wot of; but I reckon he has 
other stars at present to direct his course than bright 
eyes and fair hair. Be it as it may, thou knowest my 
purpose; peer out — peer out: keep a constant and 
careful lookout on every ragged patch that wanders by 
hedgerow or lane : these are days when a beggar's cloak 
may cover a king's ransom. There are some broad Port- 
ugal pieces for thee — something strange to thy pouch, 
I ween. Once more, think on what thou hast heard, 
and,' he added, in a lower and more impressive tone of 
voice, 'forget what thou hast seen. My service to thy 
master; and, yet once again, remember — smd forget.' 

Wildrake made his obeisance, and, returning to his 
inn, left Windsor with all possible speed. 

It was afternoon in the same day when the Cavalier 
rejoined his Roundhead friend, who was anxiously 
expecting him at the inn in Woodstock appointed for 
their rendezvous. 

' Where hast thou been? — what hast thou seen? — 
what strange uncertainty is in thy looks? — and why 
dost thou not answer me? ' 

'Because,' said Wildrake, laying aside his riding- 


cloak and rapier, 'you ask so many questions at once. A 
man has but one tongue to answer with, and mine is 
wellnigh glued to the roof of my mouth.' 

'Will drink unloosen it?' said the colonel; 'though I 
dare say thou hast tried that spell at every alehouse on 
the road. Call for what thou wouldst have, man, only 
be quick.' 

'Colonel Everard,' answered Wildrake, 'I have not 
tasted so much as a cup of cold water this day.' 

'Then thou art out of humour for that reason,' said 
the colonel; 'salve thy sore with brandy, if thou wilt, but 
leave being so fantastic and unUke to thyself as thou 
showest in this silent mood.' 

'Colonel Everard,' replied the Cavalier, very gravely, 
'I am an altered man.' 

'I think thou dost alter,' said Everard, 'every day in 
the year, and every hour of the day. Come, good now, 
tell me, hast thou seen the General, and got his warrant 
for clearing out the sequestrators from Woodstock?' 

'I have seen the Devil,' said Wildrake, 'and have, as 
thou sayst, got a warrant from him.' 

'Give it me hastily,' said Everard, catching at the 

'Forgive me, Mark,' said Wildrake; 'if thou knewest 
the purpose with which this deed is granted — if thou 
knewest — what it is not my purpose to tell thee — 
what manner of hopes are founded on thy accepting it, 
I have that opinion of thee, Mark Everard, that thou 
wouldst as soon take a red-hot horseshoe from the anvil 
with thy bare hand as receive into it this slip of paper.' 

' Come — come,' said Everard, ' this comes of some of 
your exalted ideas of loyalty, which, excellent within 



certain bounds, drive us mad when encouraged up to 
some heights. Do not think, since I must needs speak 
plainly with thee, that I see without sorrow the downfall 
of our ancient monarchy, and the substitution of an- 
other form of government in its stead; but ought my 
regret for the past to prevent my acquiescing and aiding 
in such measures as are likely to settle the future? The 
royal cause is ruined, hadst thou and every Cavalier in 
England sworn the contrary — ruined, not to rise again, 
for many a day at least. The Parliament, so often 
draughted and drained of those who were courageous 
enough to maintain their own freedom of opinion, is now 
reduced to a handful of statesmen, who have lost the 
respect of the people, from the length of time during 
which they have held the supreme management of 
affairs. They cannot stand long unless they were to 
reduce the army; and the army, late servants, are now 
masters, and will refuse to be reduced. They know their 
strength, and that they may be an army subsisting on 
pay and free quarters throughout England as long as 
they will. I tell thee, Wildrake, unless we look to the 
only man who can rule and manage them, we may expect 
military law throughout the land; and I, for mine own 
part, look for any preservation of our privileges that 
may be vouchsafed to us only through the wisdom and 
forbearance of Cromwell. Now you have my secret. 
You are aware that I am not doing the best I would, but 
the best I can. I wish — not so ardently as thou, per- 
haps — yet I do wish that the King could have been 
restored on good terms of composition, safe for us and 
for him?clf. And now, good Wildrake, rebel as thou 
thinkest me, make me no worse a rebel than an unwilling 



one. God knows, I never laid aside love and reverence 
to the King, even in drawing my sword against his ill 

'Ah, plague on you,' said Wildrake, 'that is the very 
cant of it — that's what you all say. All of you fought 
against the King in pure love and loyalty, and not 
otherwise. However, I see your drift, and I own that I 
like it better than I expected. The army is your bear 
now, and Old Noll is your bear-ward ; and you are like a 
country constable, who makes interest with the bear- 
ward that he may prevent him from letting bruin 
loose. Well, there may come a day when the sun will 
shine on our side of the fence, and thereon shall you, and 
all the good fair-weather folks who love the stronger 
party, come and make common cause with us.' 

Without much attending to what his friend said, 
Colonel Everard carefully studied the warrant of Crom- 
well. 'It is bolder and more peremptory than I ex- 
pected,' he said. 'The General must feel himself strong, 
when he opposes his own authority so directly to that of 
the Council of State and the Parliament.' 

'You will not hesitate to act upon it?' said Wildrake. 

'That I certainly will not,' answered Everard; 'but I 
must wait till I have the assistance of the Mayor, who, I 
think, will gladly see these fellows ejected from the lodge. 
I must not go altogether upon military authority, if 
possible.' Then, stepping to the door of the apartment, 
he dispatched a servant of the house in quest of the chief 
magistrate, desiring he should be made acquainted that 
Colonel Everard desired to see him with as Httle loss of 
time as possible. 

'You are sure he will come, like a dog at a whistle,' 



said Wildrake. ' The word captain or colonel makes the 
fat citizen trot in these days, when one sword is worth 
fifty corporation charters. But there are dragoons yon- 
der, as well as the grim-faced knave whom I frightened the 
other evening when I showed my face in at the window. 
Think'st thou the knaves will show no rough play?' 

'The General's warrant will weigh more with them 
than a dozen acts of Parliament,' said Everard. 'But it 
is time thou eatest, if thou hast in truth ridden from 
Windsor hither without baiting.' 

'I care not about it,' said Wildrake: 'I tell thee, your 
General gave me a breakfast which, I think, will serve 
me one while, if I am ever able to digest it. By the mass, 
it lay so heavy on my conscience, that I carried it to 
church to see if I could digest it there with my other sins. 
But not a whit.' 

' To church ! To the door of the church, thou meanest,' 
said Everard. 'I know thy way: thou art ever wont to 
pull thy hat off reverently at the threshold, but for 
crossing it, that day seldom comes.' 

'Well,' repHed Wildrake, 'and if I do pull off my cas- 
tor and kneel, is it not seemly to show the same respects 
in a church which we offer in a palace? It is a dainty 
matter, is it not, to see your Anabaptists, and Brown- 
ists, and the rest of you, gather to a sermon with as 
little ceremony as hogs to a trough? But here comes 
food, and now for a grace, if I can remember one.' 

Everard was too much interested about the fate of his 
uncle and his fair cousin, and the prospect of restoring 
them to their quiet home, under the protection of that 
formidable truncheon which was already regarded as the 
leading-staff of England, to remark, that certainly a 



great alteration had taken place in the manners and 
outward behaviour at least of his companion. His de- 
meanour frequently evinced a sort of struggle betwixt 
old habits of indulgence and some newly-formed resolu- 
tions of abstinence; and it was almost ludicrous to see 
how often the hand of the neophyte directed itself 
naturally to a large black leathern jack, which contained 
two double flagons of strong ale, and how often, diverted 
from its purpose by the better reflections of the reformed 
toper, it seized, instead, upon a large ewer of salubrious 
and pure water. 

It was not difficult to see that the task of sobriety was 
not yet become easy, and that, if it had the recommend- 
ation of the intellectual portion of the party who had 
resolved upon it, the outward man >aelded a reluctant 
and restive compUance. But honest Wildrake had been 
dreadfully frightened at the course proposed to him by 
Cromwell, and, with a feeling not pecuHar to the Catho- 
lic religion, had formed a solemn resolution within his 
own mind that, if he came off safe and with honour from 
this dangerous interview, he would show his sense of 
Heaven's favour by renouncing some of the sins which 
most easily beset him, and especially that of intemper- 
ance, to which, like many of his wild compeers, he was 
too much addicted. 

This resolution, or vow, was partly prudential as well 
as religious; for it occurred to him as very possible that 
some matters of a difficult and delicate nature might be 
thrown into his hands at the present emergency, during 
the conduct of which it would be fitting for him to act by 
some better oracle than that of the Bottle, celebrated by 
Rabelais. In full compliance with this prudent deter- 



mination, he touched neither the ale nor the brandy 
which were placed before him, and declined peremptor- 
ily the sack with which his friend would have garnished 
the board. Nevertheless, just as the boy removed the 
trenchers and napkins, together with the large black- 
jack which we have already mentioned, and was one or 
two steps on his way to the door, the sinewy arm of the 
Cavalier, which seemed to elongate itself on purpose, as 
it extended far beyond the folds of the threadbare 
jacket, arrested the progress of the retiring Ganymede, 
and, seizing on the black-jack, conveyed it to the lips, 
which were gently breathing forth the aspiration, 
*D — n — I mean, Heaven forgive me! we are poor 
creatures of clay — one modest sip must be permitted 
to our frailty.' 

So murmuring, he glued the huge flagon to his lips, 
and as the head was slowly and gradually inclined 
backwards in proportion as the right hand elevated 
the bottom of the pitcher, Everard had great doubts 
whether the drinker and the cup were likely to part until 
the whole contents of the latter had been transferred to 
the person of the former. Roger Wildrake stinted, how- 
ever, when, by a moderate computation, he had swal- 
lowed at one draught about a quart and a half. 

He then replaced it on the salver, fetched a long 
breath to refresh his lungs, bade the boy get him gone 
with the rest of the liquors, in a tone which inferred some 
dread of his constancy, and then, turning to his friend 
Everard, he expatiated in praise of moderation, observ- 
ing, that the mouthful which he had just taken had been 
of more service to him than if he had remained quaffing 
healths at table for four hours together. 



His friend made no reply, but could not help being 
privately of opinion that Wildrake's temperance had 
done as much execution on the tankard in his single 
draught as some more moderate topers might have 
effected if they had sat sipping for an evening. But the 
subject was changed by the entrance of the landlord, 
who came to announce to his honour Colonel Everard 
that the worshipful Mayor of Woodstock, with the Rev. 
Master Holdenough, were come to wait upon him. 


Here we have one head 
Upon two bodies; your two-headed bullock 
Is but an ass to such a prodigy. 

These two have but one meaning, thought, and counsel; 
And, when the single noddle has spoke out, 
The four legs scrape assent to it. 

Old Play. 

In the goodly forai of the honest Mayor there was a 
bustling mixture of importance and embarrassment, like 
the deportment of a man who was conscious that he had 
an important part to act, if he could but exactly discover 
what that part was. But both were mingled with much 
pleasure at seeing Everard, and he frequently repeated 
his welcomes and all-hails before he could be brought to 
attend to what that gentleman said in reply. 

'Good, worthy colonel, you are indeed a desirable 
sight to Woodstock at all times, being, as I may say, 
almost our townsman, as you have dwelt so much and 
so long at the palace. Truly, the matter begins almost 
to pass my wit, though I have transacted the affairs of 
this borough for many a long day; and you are come to 
my assistance like — like — ' 

* Tanquam Deus ex machina, as the ethnic poet hath 
it,' said Master Holdenough, 'although I do not often 
quote from such books. Indeed, Master Markham 
Everard — or worthy colonel, as I ought rather to say 
— you are simply the most welcome man who has come 
to Woodstock since the days of old King Harry. ' 

'I had some business with you, my good friend^' said 



the colonel, addressing the Mayor; 'I shall be glad if it 
should so happen at the same time that I may find 
occasion to pleasure you or your worthy pastor.' 

'No question you can do so, good sir,' interposed 
Master Holdenough: 'you have the heart, sir, and you 
have the hand ; and we are much in want of good counsel, 
and that from a man of action. I am aware, worthy 
colonel, that you and your worthy father have ever 
borne yourselves in these turmoils like men of a truly 
Christian and moderate spirit, striving to pour oil into 
the wounds of the land, which some would rub with 
vitriol and pepper; and we know you are faithful child- 
ren of that church which we have reformed from its 
papistical and prelatical tenets.' 

*My good and reverend friend,' said Everard, *I 
respect the piety and learning of many of your teachers; 
but I am also for Hberty of conscience to all men. I 
neither side with sectaries nor do I desire to see them the 
object of suppression by violence.' 

' Sir — sir,' said the Presbyterian, hastily, 'all this hath 
a fair sound; but I would you should think what a fine 
country and church we are like to have of it, amidst 
the errors, blasphemies, and schisms which are daily 
introduced into the church and kingdom of England, so 
that worthy Master Edwards, in his "Gangraena," de- 
clareth that our native country is about to become the 
very sink and cesspool of all schisms, heresies, blas- 
phemies, and confusions, as the army of Hannibal was 
said to be the refuse of all nations — colluvies omnium 
gentium. Believe me, worthy colonel, that they of the 
Honourable House view all this over-lightly, and with 
the winking connivance of old Eli. These instructors, 



the schismatics, shoulder the orthodox ministers out of 
their pulpits, thrust themselves into families, and break 
up the peace thereof, stealing away men's hearts from 
the estabUshed faith.' 

'My good Master Holdenough,' replied the colonel, 
interrupting the zealous preacher, 'there is ground of 
sorrow for all these unhappy discords; and I hold with 
you, that the fiery spirits of the present time have 
raised men's minds at once above sober-minded and 
sincere religion and above decorum and common sense. 
But there is no help save patience. Enthusiasm is a 
stream that may foam off in its own time, whereas it 
is sure to bear down every barrier which is directly 
opposed to it. But what are these schismatical pro- 
ceedings to our present purpose?' 

'Why, partly this, sir,' said Holdenough, 'although 
perhaps you may make less of it than I should have 
thought before we met. I was myself — I, Nehemiah 
Holdenough,' he added, consequentially, 'was forcibly 
expelled from my own pulpit, even as a man should have 
been thrust out of his own house, by an alien and an 
intruder, a wolf, who was not at the trouble even to put 
on sheep's clothing, but came in his native wolfish attire 
of buff and bandalier, and held forth in my stead to the 
people, who are to me as a flock to the lawful shepherd. 
It is too true, sir. Master Mayor saw it, and strove to 
take such order to prevent it as man might, though,' 
turning to the Mayor, 'I think still you might have 
striven a Httle more.' 

'Good now, good Master Holdenough, do not let us 
go back on that question,' said the Mayor. 'Guy of 
Warwick or Bevis of Hampton might do something with 



this generation; but truly, they are too many and too 
strong for the Mayor of Woodstock.' 

'I think Master Mayor speaks very good sense/ said 
the colonel. *If the Independents are not allowed to 
preach, I fear me they will not fight; and then if you 
were to have another rising of Cavaliers? ' 

'There are worse folks may rise than Cavaliers/ said 

'How, sir!' replied Everard. 'Let me remind you, 
Master Holdenough, that is no safe language in the 
present state of the nation.' 

'I say,' said the Presbyterian, 'there are worse folk 
may rise than CavaHers; and I will prove what I say. 
The Devil is worse than the worst Cavaher that ever 
drank a health or swore an oath — and the Devil has 
arisen at Woodstock Lodge ! ' 

'Ay, truly hath he,' said the Mayor, 'bodily and visi- 
bly, in figure and form. An awful time we Uve in!' 

'Gentlemen, I really know not how I am to under- 
stand you,' said Everard. 

'Why, it was even about the Devil we came to speak 
with you,' said the Mayor; 'but the worthy minister is 
always so hot upon the sectaries — ' 

'Which are the Devil's brats, and nearly akin to him,' 
said Master Holdenough. 'But true it is, that the 
growth of these sects has brought up the Evil One even 
upon the face of the earth, to look after his own interest, 
where he finds it most thriving.' 

'Master Holdenough,' said the colonel, 'if you speak 
figuratively, I have already told you that I have neither 
the means nor the skill sufiicient to temper these reli- 
gious heats. But if you design to say that there has been 



an actual apparition of the Devil, I presume to think 
that you, with your doctrine and your learning, would 
be a fitter match for him than a soldier like me.' 

'True, sir; and I have that confidence in the commis- 
sion which I hold, that I would take the field against the 
FoulFiend without a moment's delay,' said Holdenough; 
' but the place in which he hath of late appeared, being 
Woodstock, is filled with those dangerous and impious 
persons of whom I have been but now complaining; and 
though, confident in my own resources, I dare venture in 
disputation with their Great Master himself, yet with- 
out your protection, most worthy colonel, I see not that 
I may with prudence trust myself with the tossing and 
goring ox Desborough, or the bloody and devouring bear 
Harrison, or the cold and poisonous snake Bletson — all 
of whom are now at the lodge, doing license and taking 
spoil as they think meet; and, as all men say, the Devil 
has come to make a fourth with them.' 

*In good truth, worthy and noble sir,' said the Mayor, 
*it is even as Master Holdenough says: our privileges 
are declared void, our cattle seized in the very pastures. 
They talk of cutting down and disparking the fair chase, 
which has been so long the pleasure of so many kings, 
and making Woodstock of as little note as any paltry 
village. I assure you we heard of your arrival with joy, 
and wondered at your keeping yourself so close in your 
lodgings. We know no one save your father or you that 
are like to stand the poor burgesses' friend in this ex- 
tremity, since almost all the gentry around are Malig- 
nants, and under sequestration. We trust, therefore, 
you will make strong intercession in our behalf.' 

'Certainly, Master Mayor,' said the colonel, who saw 


himself with pleasure anticipated; 'it was my very pur- 
pose to have interfered in this matter, and I did but 
keep myself alone until I should be furnished with some 
authority from the Lord General.' 

'Powers from the Lord General!' said the Mayor, 
thrusting the clergyman with his elbow. 'Dost thou 
hear that? What cock will fight that cock? We shall 
carry it now over their necks, and Woodstock shall be 
brave Woodstock still.' 

'Keep thine elbow from my side, friend,' said Hold- 
enough, annoyed by the action which the Mayor had 
suited to his words; 'and may the Lord send that Crom- 
well prove not as sharp to the people of England as thy 
bones against my person ! Yet I approve that we should 
use his authority to stop the course of these men's pro- 

'Let us set out, then,' said Colonel Everard; 'and I 
trust we shall find the gentlemen reasonable and obed- 

The functionaries, laic and clerical, assented with 
much joy; and the colonel required and received Wild- 
rake's assistance in putting on his cloak and rapier, as 
if he had been the dependant whose part he acted. The 
Cavalier contrived, however, while doing him these 
menial offices, to give his friend a shrewd pinch, in order 
to maintain the footing of secret equality betwixt them. 

The colonel was saluted, as they passed through the 
streets, by many of the anxious inhabitants, who seemed 
to consider his intervention as affording the only chance 
of saving their fine park, and the rights of the corpora- 
tion, as well as of individuals, from ruin and confis- 

S7 i6i 


As they entered the park, the colonel asked his com- 
panions, 'What is this you say of apparitions being seen 
amongst them?' 

'Why, colonel,' said the clergyman, 'you know your- 
self that Woodstock was always haunted? ' 

'I have lived therein many a day,' said the colonel, 
'and I know that I never saw the least sign of it, al- 
though idle people spoke of the house as they do of all 
old mansions, and gave the apartments ghosts and 
spectres to fill up the places of as many of the deceased 
great as had ever dwelt there.' 

'Nay, but, good colonel,' said the clergyman, 'I trust 
you have not reached the prevailing sin of the times, and 
become indifferent to the testimony in favour of appari- 
tions, which appears so conclusive to all but atheists and 
advocates for witches? ' 

'I would not absolutely disbelieve what is so gener- 
ally affirmed,' said the colonel; 'but my reason leads me 
to doubt most of the stories which I have heard of this 
sort, and my own experience never went to confirm any 
of them.' 

'Ay, but trust me,' said Holdenough, 'there was al- 
ways a demon of one or the other species about this 
Woodstock. Not a man or woman in the town but has 
heard stories of apparitions in the forest or about the old 
castle. Sometimes it is a pack of hounds that sweep 
along, and the whoops and holloos of the huntsmen, and 
the winding of horns and the galloping of horse, which is 
heard as if first more distant, and then close around you; 
and then anon it is a solitary huntsman, who asks if you 
can tell him which way the stag is gone. He is always 
dressed in green; but the fashion of his clothes is some 



five hundred years old. This is what we call Demon 
Meridianum — the noonday spectre.' 

'My worthy and reverend sir/ said the colonel, 'I 
have lived at Woodstock many seasons, and have trav- 
ersed the chase at all hours. Trust me, what you hear 
from the villagers is the growth of their idle folly and 

'Colonel,' replied Holdenough, 'a, negative proves 
nothing. What signifies, craving your pardon, that you 
have not seen anything, be it earthly or be it of the 
other world, to detract from the evidence of a score of 
people who have? And, besides, there is the Demon 
Noctumum — the being that walketh by night. He has 
been among these Independents and schismatics last 
night. Ay, colonel, you may stare, but it is even so; they 
may try whether he will mend their gifts, as they pro- 
fanely call them, of exposition and prayer. No, sir, I 
trow, to master the foul fiend there goeth some com- 
petent knowledge of theology, and an acquaintance of 
the humane letters, ay, and a regular clerical education 
and clerical calling.' 

*I do not in the least doubt,' said the colonel, 'the 
efficacy of your qualifications to lay the Devil ; but still I 
think some odd mistake has occasioned this confusion 
amongst them, if there has any such in reality existed. 
Desborough is a blockhead, to be sure; and Harrison is 
fanatic enough to beheve anything. But there is Blet- 
son, on the other hand, who beheves nothing. What do 
you know of this matter, good Master Mayor? ' 

'In sooth, and it was Master Bletson who gave the 
first alarm,' rephed the magistrate, 'or, at least, the first 
distinct one. You see, sir, I was in bed with my wife^ and 



no one else; and I was as fast asleep as a man can desire 
to be at two hours after midnight, when, behold you, 
they came knocking at my bedroom door, to tell me 
there was an alarm in Woodstock, and that the bell of 
the lodge was ringing at that dead hour of the night as 
hard as ever it rung when it called the court to dinner.' 

'Well, but the cause of this alarm?' said the colonel. 

'You shall hear, worthy colonel — you shall hear,' 
answered the Mayor, waving his hand with dignity; for 
he was one of those persons who will not be hurried out 
of their own pace. 'So Mrs. Mayor would have per- 
suaded me, in her love and affection, poor wretch, that 
to rise at such an hour out of my own warm bed was Hke 
to bring on my old complaint the lumbago, and that I 
should send the people to Alderman Button. "Alder- 
man Devil, Mrs. Mayor," said I — I beg your rever- 
ence's pardon for using such a phrase — "Do you think 
I am going to lie abed when the town is on fire, and the 
Cavaliers up, and the devil to pay?" I beg pardon 
again, parson. But here we are before the gate of the 
palace; will it not please you to enter? ' 

'I would first hear the end of your story,' said the 
colonel; ' that is. Master Mayor, if it happens to have an 

'Everything hath an end,' said the Mayor, 'and that 
which we call a pudding hath two. Your worship will 
forgive me for being facetious. Where was I? O, I 
jumped out of bed, and put on my red plush breeches, 
with the blue nether stocks, for I always make a point of 
being dressed suitably to my dignity, night and day, 
summer or winter, Colonel Everard; and I took the 
constable along with me, in case the alarm should be 



raised by night-walkers or thieves, and called up worthy 
Master Holdenough out of his bed, in case it should turn 
out to be the Devil. And so I thought I was provided for 
the worst, and so away we came; and, by and by, the 
soldiers who came to the town with Master Tomkins, 
who had been called to arms, came marching down to 
Woodstock as fast as their feet would carry them ; so I 
gave our people the sign to let them pass us, and out- 
march us, as it were, and this for a twofold reason.' 

*I will be satisfied,' interrupted the colonel, 'with one 
good reason. You desired the redcoats should have the 
first of the fray? ' 

' True, sir — very true ; and also that they should have 
the last of it, in respect that fighting is their especial 
business. However, we came on at a slow pace, as men 
who are determined to do their duty without fear or 
favour, when suddenly we saw something white haste 
away up the avenue towards the town, when six of our 
constables and assistants fled at once, as conceiving it to 
be an apparition called the White Woman of Woodstock.' 

'Look you there, colonel,' said Master Holdenough, 'I 
told you there were demons of more kinds than one, 
which haunt the ancient scenes of royal debauchery and 

* I hope you stood your own ground, Master Mayor? ' 
said the colonel. 

* I — yes — most assuredly — that is, I did not, 
strictly speaking, keep my ground; but the town-clerk 
and I retreated — retreated, colonel, and without con- 
fusion or dishonour, and took post behind worthy Mas- 
ter Holdenough, who, with the spirit of a lion, threw 
himself in the way of the supposed spectre, and attacked 



it with such a siserary of Latin as might have scared the 
Devil himself, and thereby plainly discovered that it 
was no devil at all, nor white woman, neither woman of 
any colour, but worshipful Master Bletson, a member 
of the House of Commons, and one of the commissioners 
sent hither upon this unhappy sequestration of the 
Wood, Chase, and Lodge of Woodstock.' 

'And this was all you saw of the demon?' said the 

'Truly, yes,' answered the Mayor; 'and I had no wish 
to see more. However, we conveyed Master Bletson, as 
in duty bound, back to the lodge, and he was ever maun- 
dering by the way how that he met a party of scarlet 
devils incarnate marching down to the lodge; but, to 
my poor thinking, it must have been the Independent 
dragoons who had just passed us.' 

'And more incarnate devils I would never wish to see,' 
said Wildrake, who could remain silent no longer. His 
voice, so suddenly heard, showed how much the Mayor's 
nerves were still alarmed, for he started and jumped 
aside with an alacrity of which no one would at first 
sight suppose a man of his portly dignity to have been 
capable. Everard imposed silence on his intrusive at- 
tendant; and, desirous to hear the conclusion of this 
strange story, requested the Mayor to tell him how the 
matter ended, and whether they stopped the supposed 

'Truly, worthy sir,' said the Mayor, 'Master Hold- 
enough was quite venturous upon confronting, as it 
were, the Devil, and compelling him to appear under 
the real form of Master Joshua Bletson, member of 
Parliament for the borough of Littlefaith.' 

1 66 


'In sooth, Master Mayor,' said the divine, *I were 
strangely ignorant of my own commission and its im- 
munities, if I were to value opposing myself to Satan, or 
any Independent in his likeness, all of whom, in the 
name of Him I serve, I do defy, spit at, and trample 
under my feet; and because Master Mayor is something 
tedious, I will briefly inform your honour that we saw 
Kttle of the Enemy that night, save what Master Blet- 
son said in the first feeling of his terrors, and save what 
we might collect from the disordered appearance of the 
Honourable Colonel Desborough and Major-General 

'And what plight were they in, I pray you?' de- 
manded the colonel. 

'Why, worthy sir, every one might see with half an 
eye that they had been engaged in a fight wherein they 
had not been honoured with perfect victory; seeing that 
General Harrison was stalking up and down the parlour, 
with his drawn sword in his hand, talking to himself, his 
doublet unbuttoned, his points untrussed, his garters 
loose, and like to throw him down as he now and then 
trode on them, and gaping and grinning Hke a mad 
player. And yonder sate Desborough with a dry pottle 
of sack before him, which he had just emptied, and 
which, though the element in which he trusted, had not 
restored him sense enough to speak or courage enough to 
look over his shoulder. He had a Bible in his hand, for- 
sooth, as if it would of itself make battle against the Evil 
One; but I peered over his shoulder, and, alas! the good 
gentleman held the bottom of the page uppermost. It 
was as if one of your musketeers, noble and valiant sir, 
were to present the butt of his piece at the enemy in- 



stead of the muzzle — ha, ha, ha! it was a sight to judge 
of schismatics by, both in point of head and in point of 
heart, in point of skill and in point of courage. Oh! 
colonel, then was the time to see the true character of 
an authorised pastor of souls over those unhappy men 
who leap into the fold without due and legal authority, 
and will, forsooth, preach, teach, and exhort, and blas- 
phemously term the doctrine of the church saltless 
porridge and dry chips ! ' 

* I have no doubt you were ready to meet the danger, 
reverend sir; but I would fain know of what nature it 
was, and from whence it was to be apprehended?' 

'Was it for me to make such inquiry? ' said the clergy- 
man, triumphantly. ' Is it for a brave soldier to number 
his enemies, or inquire from what quarter they are to 
come? No, sir, I was there with match lighted, bullet in 
my mouth, and my harquebuss shouldered, to encounter 
as many devils as hell could pour in, were they countless 
as motes in the sunbeam, and although they came from 
all points of the compass. The Papists talk of the temp- 
tation of St. Anthony — pshaw! Let them double all 
the myriads which the brain of a crazy Dutch painter 
hath invented, and you will find a poor Presbyterian 
divine — I will answer for one at least ! who, not in 
his own strength, but his Master's, will receive the as- 
sault in such sort that, far from returning against him as 
against yonder poor hound, day after day and night 
after night, he will at once pack them off as with a 
vengeance to the uttermost parts of Assyria!' 

'Still,' said the colonel, 'I pray to know whether you 
saw anything upon which to exercise your pious learn- 

1 68 


'Saw!' answered the divine; 'no, truly, I saw nothing, 
nor did I look for anything. Thieves will not attack 
well-armed travellers, nor will devils or evil spirits come 
against one who bears in his bosom the Word of truth, 
in the very language in which it was first dictated. No, 
sir, they shun a divine who can understand the holy text, 
as a crow is said to keep wide of a gun loaded with hail- 

They had walked a little way back upon their road, to 
give time for this conversation; and the colonel, per- 
ceiving it was about to lead to no satisfactory explana- 
tion of the real cause of alarm on the preceding night, 
turned round, and observing, it was time they should go 
to the lodge, began to move in that direction with his 
three companions. 

It had now become dark, and the towers of Woodstock 
arose high above the umbrageous shroud which the 
forest spread around the ancient and venerable mansion. 
From one of the highest turrets, which could still be 
distinguished as it rose against the clear blue sky, there 
gleamed a hght Uke that of a candle within the building. 
The Mayor stopt short, and catching fast hold of the 
divine, and then of Colonel Everard, exclaimed, in a 
trembling and hasty, but suppressed tone — 

'Do you see yonder light?' 

'Ay, marry do I,' said Colonel Everard; 'and what 
does that matter? A light in a garret-room of such an 
old mansion as Woodstock is no subject for wonder, I 

'But a hght from Rosamond's Tower is surely so?' 
said the Mayor. 

'True/ said the colonel, something surprised when, 


after a careful examination, he satisfied himself that the 
worthy magistrate's conjecture was right. 'That is in- 
deed Rosamond's Tower; and as the drawbridge by 
which it was accessible has been destroyed for centuries, 
it is hard to say what chance could have lighted a lamp 
in such an inaccessible place.' 

'That light burns with no earthly fuel,' said the 
Mayor: 'neither from whale nor olive oil, nor bees- wax, 
nor mutton-suet either. I dealt in these commodities, 
colonel, before I went into my present line; and I can 
assure you I could distinguish the sort of light they 
give, one from another, at a greater distance than yon- 
der turret. Look you, that is no earthly flame. See you 
not something blue and reddish upon the edges? that 
bodes full well where it comes from. Colonel, in my 
opinion we had better go back to sup at the town, and 
leave the Devil and the redcoats to settle their matters 
together for to-night; and then when we come back the 
next morning, we will have a pull with the party that 
chances to keep afield.' 

'You will do as you please. Master Mayor,' said 
Everard, ' but my duty requires me that I should see the 
Commissioners to-night.' 

'And mine requires me to see the Foul Fiend,' said 
Master Holdenough, 'if he dare make himself visible to 
me. I wonder not that, knowing who is approaching, he 
betakes himself to the very citadel, the inner and the 
last defences, of this ancient and haunted mansion. He 
is dainty, I warrant you, and must dwell where is a relish 
of luxury and murder about the walls of his chamber. 
In yonder turret sinned Rosamond, and'in yonder turret 
she suffered; and there she sits, or, more Hkely, the 



Enemy in her shape, as I have heard true men of Wood- 
stock tell. I wait on you, good colonel; Master Mayor 
will do as he pleases. The strong man hath fortified 
himself in his dwelling-house, but, lo, there cometh 
another stronger than he.' 

'For me,' said the Mayor, 'who am as unlearned as I 
am unwarlike, I will not engage either with the powers 
of the Earth or the Prince of the Powers of the Air, and I 
would we were again at Woodstock; and harkye, good 
fellow,' slapping Wildrake on the shoulder, 'I will be- 
stow on thee a shilling wet and a shilling dry if thou wilt 
go back with me.' 

'Gadzookers, Master Mayor,' said Wildrake, neither 
flattered by the magistrate's familiarity of address nor 
captivated by his munificence, 'I wonder who the devil 
made you and me fellows? And, besides, do you think I 
would go back to Woodstock with your worshipful cod's- 
head, when, by good management, I may get a peep of 
Fair Rosamond, and see whether she was that choice and 
incomparable piece of ware which the world has been 
told of by rh>Tners and ballad-makers? ' 

'Speak less lightly and wantonly, friend,' said the 
divine ; ' we are to resist the Devil that he may flee from 
us, and not to tamper with him, or enter into his coun- 
sels, or traflSc with the merchandise of his great Vanity 

'Mind what the good man says, Wildrake,' said the 
colonel; 'and take heed another time how thou dost 
suffer thy wit to outrun discretion.' 

'I am beholden to the reverend gentleman for his 
advice,' answered Wildrake, upon whose tongue it was 
difficult to impose any curb whatever, even when his 



own safety rendered it most desirable. ' But, gadzook- 
ers, let him have had what experience he will in fighting 
with the Devil, he never saw one so black as I had a 
tussle with — not a hundred years ago.' 

'How, friend,' said the clergyman, who understood 
everything literally when apparitions were mentioned, 
'have you had so late a visitation of Satan? Believe me, 
then, that I wonder why thou darest to entertain his 
name so often and so lightly as I see thou dost use it in 
thy ordinary discourse. But when and where didst thou 
see the Evil One? ' 

Everard hastily interposed, lest by something yet 
more strongly alluding to Cromwell his imprudent squire 
should, in mere wantonness, betray his interview with 
the General. 'The young man raves,' he said, 'of a 
dream which he had the other night, when he and I 
slept together in Victor Lee's chamber, belonging to the 
ranger's apartments at the lodge.' 

'Thanks for help at a pinch, good patron,' said Wild- 
rake, whispering into Everard's ear, who in vain en- 
deavoured to shake him off, ' a fib never failed a fanatic' 

'You, also, spoke something too hghtly of these mat- 
ters, considering the work which we have in hand, 
worthy colonel,' said the Presbyterian divine. 'Believe 
me, the young man, thy servant, was more Hkely to see 
visions than to dream merely idle dreams in that apart- 
ment; for I have always heard that, next to Rosamond's 
Tower, in which, as I said, she played the wanton, and 
was afterwards poisoned by Queen Eleanor, Victor Lee's 
chamber was the place in the lodge of Woodstock more 
peculiarly the haunt of evil spirits. I pray you, young 
man, tell me this dream or vision of yours.' 



'With all my heart, sir,' said Wildrake; then address- 
ing his patron, who began to interfere, he said, 'Tush, 
sir, you have had the discourse for an hour, and why 
should not I hold forth in my turn? By this darkness, if 
you keep me silent any longer, I will turn Independent 
preacher, and stand up in your despite for the freedom of 
private judgment. And so, reverend sir, I was dreaming 
of a carnal divertisement called a bull-baiting; and 
methought they were venturing dogs at head, as mer- 
rily as e'er I saw them atTutbury bull-running; and me- 
thought I heard some one say, there was the Devil come 
to have a sight of the bull-ring. Well, I thought that, 
gadswoons, I would have a peep at his Infernal ^lajesty. 
So I looked, and there was a butcher in greasy woollen, 
with his steel by his side; but he was none of the Devil. 
And there was a drunken Cavalier, with his mouth full 
of oaths, and his stomach full of emptiness, and a gold- 
laced waistcoat in a very dilapidated condition, and a 
ragged hat, with a piece of a feather in it; and he was 
none of the Devil neither. And here was a miller, his 
hands dusty with meal, and every atom of it stolen; and 
there was a vintner, his green apron stained with wine, 
and every drop of it sophisticated; but neither was the 
old gentleman I looked for to be detected among these 
artisans of iniquity. At length, sir, I saw a grave person 
with cropped hair, a pair of longish and projecting ears, 
a band as broad as a slobbering bib under his chin, a 
brown coat surmounted by a Geneva cloak, and I had 
Old Nicholas at once in his genuine paraphernalia, 

'Shame — shame!' said Colonel Everard. 'What! 
behave thus to an old gentleman and a divine!' 



'Nay, let him proceed/ said the minister, with perfect 
equanimity; 'if thy friend, or secretary, is gibing, I must 
have less patience than becomes my profession if I could 
not bear an idle jest, and forgive him who makes it. Or 
if, on the other hand, the Enemy has really presented 
himself to the young man in such a guise as he intimates, 
wherefore should we be surprised that he who can take 
upon him the form of an angel of light should be able to 
assume that of a frail and peccable mortal, whose spir- 
itual calling and profession ought, indeed, to induce him 
to make his life an example to others, but whose con- 
duct, nevertheless, such is the imperfection of our unas- 
sisted nature, sometimes rather presents us with a 
warning of what we should shun? ' 

'Now, by the mass, honest dominie — I mean, rev- 
erend sir — I crave you a thousand pardons,' said Wild- 
rake, penetrated by the quietness and patience of the 
Presbyter's rebuke. 'By St. George, if quiet patience 
will do it, thou art fit to play a game at foils with the 
Devil himself, and I would be contented to hold stakes.' 

As he concluded an apology which was certainly not 
uncalled for, and seemed to be received in perfectly good 
part, they approached so close to the exterior door of the 
lodge that they were challenged with the emphatic 
* Stand,' by a sentinel who mounted guard there. Col- 
onel Everard replied, ' A friend ' ; and the sentinel re- 
peating his command, 'Stand, friend,' proceeded to call 
the corporal of the guard. The corporal came forth, and 
at the same time turned out his guard. Colonel Everard 
gave his name and designation, as well as those of his 
companions, on which the corporal said, 'He doubted 
not there would be orders for his instant admission; but, 



in the first place, Master Tomkins must be consulted, 
that he might learn their honour's mind.' 

'How, sir!' said the colonel, 'do you, knowing who I 
am, presume to keep me on the outside of your post?' 

'Not if your honour pleases to enter,' said the cor- 
poral, 'and undertakes to be my warranty; but such are 
the orders of my post.' 

*Nay, then, do your duty,' said the colonel; 'but are 
the Cavaliers up, or what is the matter, that you keep so 
close and strict a watch?' 

The fellow gave no distinct answer, but muttered 
between his mustaches something about the enemy, and 
the roaring lion who goeth about seeking whom he may 
devour. Presently afterwards, Tomkins appeared, fol- 
lowed by two servants, bearing Hghts in great standing 
brass candlesticks. They marched before Colonel Ever- 
ard and his party, keeping as close to each other as two 
cloves of the same orange; and starting from time to 
time, and shouldering as they passed through sundry 
intricate passages, they led up a large and ample wooden 
staircase, the banisters, rail, and Uning of which were 
executed in black oak, and finally into a long saloon, or 
parlour, where there was a prodigious fire, and about 
twelve candles of the largest size distributed in sconces 
against the wall. There were seated the Commissioners, 
who now held in their power the ancient mansion and 
royal domain of Woodstock. 


The bloody bear, an independent beast, 
Unlick'd to forms, in groans his hate express'd. 

Next him the buffoon ape, as atheists use, 
Mimick'd all sects, and had his own to choose. 

Hind and Panther. 

The strong light in the parlour which we have described 
served to enable Everard easily to recognise his ac- 
quaintances, Desborough, Harrison, and Bletson, who 
had assembled round an oak table of large dimensions, 
placed near the blazing chimney, on which were ar- 
ranged wine, and ale, and materials for smoking, then 
the general indulgence of the time. There was a species 
of movable cupboard set betwixt the table and the door, 
calculated originally for a display of plate upon grand 
occasions, but at present only used as a screen; which 
purpose it served so effectually that, ere he had coasted 
around it, Everard heard the following fragment of what 
Desborough was saying, in his strong coarse voice: 
* Sent him to share with us, I 'se warrant ye. It was 
always his Excellency my brother-in-law's way: if he 
made a treat for five friends, he would invite more than 
the table could hold. I have known him ask three men 
to eat two eggs.' 

'Hush — hush,' said Bletson; and the servants, mak- 
ing their appearance from behind the tall cupboard, an- 
nounced Colonel Everard. It may not be uninteresting 
to the reader to have a description of the party into 
which he now entered. 



Desborough was a stout, bull-necked man, of middle 
size, with heavy, vulgar features, grizzled, bushy eye- 
brows, and wall-eyes. The flourish of his powerful 
relative's fortunes had burst forth in the finery of his 
dress, which was much more ornamented than was usual 
among the Roundheads. There was embroidery on his 
cloak, and lace upon his band; his hat displayed a 
feather with a golden clasp ; and all his habiliments were 
those of a Cavalier, or follower of the court, rather than 
the plain dress of a Parliamentarian ofiicer. But, 
Heaven knows, there was little of courtlike grace or 
dignity in the person or demeanour of the individual, 
who became his fine suit as the hog on the sign-post does 
his gilded armour. It was not that he was positively 
deformed, or misshaped, for, taken in detail, the figure 
was well enough. But his limbs seemed to act upon 
different and contradictory principles. They were not, 
as the play says, in a concatenation accordingly: the 
right hand moved as if it were upon bad terms with the 
left, and the legs showed an inclination to foot it in 
different and opposite directions. In short, to use an 
extravagant comparison, the members of Colonel 
Desborough seemed rather to resemble the disputatious 
representatives of a federative congress than the well- 
ordered union of the orders of the state in a firm and 
well-compacted monarchy, where each holds his own 
place and all obey the dictates of a common head. 

General Harrison, the second of the Commissioners, 
was a tall, thin, middle-aged man, who had risen into his 
high situation in the army, and his intimacy with Crom- 
well, by his dauntless courage in the field, and the pop- 
ularity he had acquired by his exalted enthusiasm 
87 177 


amongst the military saints, sectaries, and Independents 
who composed the strength of the existing army. Harri- 
son was of mean extraction, and bred up to his father's 
employment of a butcher. Nevertheless, his appearance, 
though coarse, was not vulgar, like that of Desborough, 
who had so much the advantage of him in birth and 
education. He had a masculine height and strength of 
figure, was well made, and in his manner announced a 
rough military character, which might be feared, but 
could not easily become the object of contempt or ridi- 
cule. His aquiline nose and dark black eyes set off to 
some advantage a countenance otherwise irregular, and 
the wild enthusiasm that sometimes sparkled in them as 
he dilated on his opinions to others, and often seemed to 
slumber under his long dark eyelashes as he mused upon 
them himself, gave something strikingly wild, and even 
noble, to his aspect. He was one of the chief leaders of 
those who were called Fifth Monarchy men, who, going 
even beyond the general fanaticism of the age, presump- 
tuously interpreted the book of the Revelation after 
their own fancies, considered that the second Advent of 
the Messiah, and the millennium, or reign of the saints 
upon earth, was close at hand, and that they themselves, 
illuminated, as they believed, with the power of foresee- 
ing these approaching events, were the chosen instru- 
ments for the establishment of the New Reign, or Fifth 
Monarchy, as it was called, and were fated also to win its 
honours, whether celestial or terrestrial. 

When this spirit of enthusiasm, which operated like a 
partial insanity, was not immediately affecting Harri- 
son's mind, he was a shrewd, worldly man and a good 
soldier, one who missed no opportunity of mending his 



fortune, and who, in expecting the exaltation of the 
Fifth Monarchy, was, in the mean while, a ready instru- 
ment for the estabHshment of the Lord General's su- 
premacy. Whether it was owing to his early occupation, 
and habits of indifference to pain or bloodshed acquired 
in the shambles, to natural disposition and want of 
feeling, or, finally, to the awakened character of his 
enthusiasm, which made him look upon those who 
opposed him as opposing the Divine will, and therefore 
meriting no favour or mercy, is not easy to say; but all 
agreed that, after a victory or the successful storm of a 
town, Harrison was one of the most cruel and pitiless 
men in Cromwell's army, always urging some misappHed 
text to authorise the continued execution of the fugitives, 
and sometimes even putting to death those who had 
surrendered themselves prisoners. It was said, that at 
times the recollection of some of those cruelties troubled 
his conscience, and disturbed the dreams of beatification 
in which his imagination indulged. 

When Everard entered the apartment, this true repre- 
sentative of the fanatical soldiers of the day, who filled 
those ranks and regiments which Cromwell had politi- 
cally kept on foot, while he procured the reduction of 
those in which the Presbyterian interest predominated, 
was seated a little apart from the others, his legs crossed 
and stretched out at length towards the fire, his head 
resting on his elbow, and turned upwards, as if studying, 
with the most profound gravity, the half-seen carving of 
the Gothic roof. 

Bletson remains to be mentioned, who, in person and 
figure, was diametrically different from the other two. 
There was neither foppery nor slovenliness in his ex- 



terior, nor had he any marks of military service or rank 
about his person. A small walking rapier seemed merely 
worn as a badge of his rank as a gentleman, without his 
hand having the least purpose of becoming acquainted 
with the hilt, or his eye with the blade. His countenance 
was thin and acute, marked with lines which thought 
rather than age had traced upon it; and a habitual sneer 
on his countenance, even when he least wished to express 
contempt on his features, seemed to assure the individ- 
ual addressed that in Bletson he conversed with a person 
of intellect far superior to his own. This was a triumph 
of intellect only, however; for on all occasions of differ- 
ence respecting speculative opinions, and indeed on all 
controversies whatsoever, Bletson avoided the ultimate 
ratio of blows and knocks. 

Yet this peaceful gentleman had found himself 
obliged to serve personally in the Parliamentary army 
at the commencement of the Civil War, till, happening 
unluckily to come in contact with the fiery Prince 
Rupert, his retreat was judged so precipitate, that it 
required all the shelter his friends could afford to keep 
him free of an impeachment or a court-martial. But as 
Bletson spoke well, and with great effect, in the House 
of Commons, which was his natural sphere, and was on 
that account high in the estimation of his party, his 
behaviour at Edgehill was passed over, and he continued 
to take an active share in all the political events of that 
bustling period, though he faced not again the actual 
front of war. 

Bletson's theoretical politics had long inclined him to 
espouse the opinions of Harrington and others, who 
adopted the visionary idea of establishing a pure demo- 



cratical republic in so extensive a country as Britain. 
This was a rash theory, where there is such an infinite 
difference betwixt ranks, habits, education, and morals; 
where there is such an immense disproportion betwixt 
the wealth of individuals; and where a large portion of 
the inhabitants consists of the inferior classes of the 
large towns and manufacturing districts — men unfitted 
to bear that share in the direction of a state which must 
be exercised by the members of a repubhc in the proper 
sense of the word. Accordingly, as soon as the experi- 
ment was made, it became obvious that no such form of 
government could be adopted with the smallest chance 
of stability; and the question came only to be, whether 
the remnant, or, as it was vulgarly called, the Rump, of 
the Long ParHament, now reduced by the seclusion of so 
many of the members to a few scores of persons, should 
continue, in spite of their unpopularity, to rule the affairs 
of Britain? Whether they should cast all loose by dis- 
solving themselves, and issuing writs to convoke a new 
Parliament, the composition of which no one could 
answer for, any more than for the measures they might 
take when assembled? Or, lastly, whether Cromwell, as 
actually happened, was not to throw the sword into the 
balance, and boldly possess himself of that power which 
the remnant of the Parliament were unable to hold, and 
yet afraid to resign? 

Such being the state of parties, the Council of State, in 
distributing the good things in their gift, endeavoured to 
soothe and gratify the army, as a beggar flings crusts to 
a growling mastiff. In this view Desborough had been 
created a Commissioner in the Woodstock matter to 
gratify Cromwell, Harrison to soothe the fierce Fifth 



Monarchy men, and Bletson as a sincere republican, and 
one of their own leaven. 

But if they supposed Bletson had the least intention of 
becoming a martyr to his republicanism, or submitting 
to any serious loss on account of it, they much mistook 
the man. He entertained their principles sincerely, and 
not the less that they were found impracticable; for the 
miscarriage of his experiment no more converts the poHt- 
ical speculator than the explosion of a retort undeceives 
an alchymist. But Bletson was quite prepared to submit 
to Cromwell, or any one else who might be possessed of 
the actual authority. He was a ready subject in practice 
to the powers existing, and made little difference betwixt 
various kinds of government, holding in theory all to be 
nearly equal in imperfection, so soon as they diverged 
from the model of Harrington's Oceana. Cromwell had 
already been tampering with him, like wax between his 
finger and thumb, and which he was ready shortly to 
seal with, smiling at the same time to himself when he 
beheld the Council of State giving rewards to Bletson as 
their faithful adherent, while he himself was secure of 
his allegiance, how soon soever the expected change of 
government should take place. 

But Bletson was still more attached to his metaphysi- 
cal than his political creed, and carried his doctrines of 
the perfectibility of mankind as far as he did those 
respecting the conceivable perfection of a model of 
government; and as in the one case he declared against 
all power which did not emanate from the people them- 
selves, so, in his moral speculations, he was unwilling 
to refer any of the phenomena of nature to a final cause. 
When pushed, indeed, very hard, Bletson was compelled 



to mutter some inarticulate and unintelligible doctrines 
concerning an Animus Mundi, or Creative Power, in the 
works of Nature, by which she originally called into ex- 
istence, and still continues to preserve, her works. To 
this power, he said, some of the purest metaphysicians 
rendered a certain degree of homage; nor was he himself 
inclined absolutely to censure those who, by the institu- 
tion of holidays, choral dances, songs, and harmless 
feasts and libations, might be disposed to celebrate the 
great goddess Nature; at least, dancing, singing, feast- 
ing, and sporting being comfortable things to both 
young and old, they might as well sport, dance, and feast 
in honour of such appointed holidays as under any other 
pretext. But then this moderate show of religion was to 
be practised under such exceptions as are admitted by 
the Highgate oath; and no one was to be compelled to 
dance, drink, sing, or feast whose taste did not happen to 
incline them to such divertisements, nor was any one to 
be obliged to worship the creative power, whether under 
the name of the Animus Mundi or any other whatsoever. 
The interference of the Deity in the affairs of mankind 
he entirely disowned, having proved to his own satis- 
faction that the idea originated entirely in priestcraft. 
In short, with the shadowy metaphysical exception 
aforesaid, Mr. Joshua Bletson of Darlington, member 
for Littlecreed, came as near the predicament of an 
atheist as it is perhaps possible for a man to do. But we 
say this with the necessary salvo; for we have known 
many like Bletson, whose curtains have been shrewdly 
shaken by superstition, though their fears were unsanc- 
tioned by any religious faith. The devils, we are assured, 
believe and tremble; but on earth there are many who, 



in worse plight than even the natural children of perdi- 
tion, tremble without believing, and fear even while they 

It follows, of course, that nothing could be treated 
with more scorn by Mr. Bletson than the debates about 
Prelacy and Presbytery, about Presbytery and Inde- 
pendency, about Quakers and Anabaptists, Muggle- 
tonians and Brownists, and all the various sects with 
which the Civil War had commenced, and by which its 
dissensions were still continued. *It was,' he said, 'as if 
beasts of burden should quarrel amongst themselves 
about the fashion of their halters and pack-saddles, 
instead of embracing a favourable opportunity of throw- 
ing them aside.' Other witty and pithy remarks he used 
to make when time and place suited ; for instance, at the 
club called the Rota, frequented by St. John, and estab- 
lished by Harrington, for the free discussion of political 
and religious subjects. 

But when Bletson was out of this academy or strong- 
hold of philosophy, he was very cautious how he carried 
his contempt of the general prejudice in favour of relig- 
ion and Christianity further than an implied objection 
or a sneer. If he had an opportunity of talking in private 
with an ingenuous and intelligent youth, he sometimes 
attempted to make a proselyte, and showed much ad- 
dress in bribing the vanity of inexperience, by suggesting 
that a mind like his ought to spurn the prejudices im- 
pressed upon it in childhood; and when assuming the 
latus clavus of reason, assuring him that such as he, laying 
aside the bulla of juvenile incapacity, as Bletson called 
it, should proceed to examine and decide for himself. It 
frequently happened that the youth was induced to 


adopt the doctrines in whole or in part of the sage who 
had seen his natural genius, and who had urged him to 
exert it in examining, detecting, and declaring for him- 
self; and thus flattery gave proselytes to infidelity which 
could not have been gained by all the powerful elo- 
quence or artful sophistry of the infidel. 

These attempts to extend the influence of what was 
called freethinking and philosophy were carried on, as 
we have hinted, with a caution dictated by the timidity 
of the philosopher's disposition. He was conscious his 
doctrines were suspected, and his proceedings watched, 
by the two principal sects of Prelatists and Presbyteri- 
ans, who, however inimical to each other, were still more 
hostile to one who was an opponent not only to a church 
estabhshment of any kind, but to every denomination of 
Christianity. He found it more easy to shroud himself 
among the Independents, whose demands were for a 
general liberty of conscience, or an unlimited toleration, 
and whose faith, differing in all respects and particulars, 
was by some pushed into such wild errors as to get to- 
tally beyond the bounds of every species of Christianity, 
and approach very near to infidelity itself, as extremes 
of each kind are said to approach each other. Bletson 
mixed a good deal among those sectaries; and such was 
his confidence in his own logic and address, that he is 
supposed to have entertained hopes of bringing to his 
opinions in time the enthusiastic Vane, as well as the no 
less enthusiastic Harrison, provided he could but get 
them to resign their visions of a Fifth Monarchy, and 
induce them to be contented with a reign of philosophers 
in England for the natural period of their lives, instead 
of the reign of the saints during the millennium. 



. Such was the singular group into which Everard was 
now introduced, showing, in their various opinions, upon 
how many devious coasts human nature may make ship- 
wreck, when she has once let go her hold on the anchor 
which religion has given her to lean upon; the acute self- 
conceit and worldly learning of Bletson, the rash and 
ignorant conclusions of the fierce and under-bred Harri- 
son, leading them into the opposite extremes of enthu- 
siasm and infidelity, while Desborough, constitutionally 
stupid, thought nothing about religion at all; and while 
the others were active in making sail on different but 
equally erroneous courses, he might be said to perish 
like a vessel which springs a leak and founders in the 
roadstead. It was wonderful to behold what a strange 
variety of mistakes and errors, on the part of the King 
and his ministers, on the part of the Parliament and 
their leaders, on the part of the allied kingdoms of Scot- 
land and England towards each other, had combined to 
rear up men of such dangerous opinions and interested 
characters among the arbiters of the destiny of Britain. 
Those who argue for party's sake will see all the faults 
on the one side, without deigning to look at those on the 
other; those who study history for instruction will per- 
ceive that nothing but the want of concession on either 
side, and the deadly height to which the animosity of the 
King's and Parliament's parties had arisen, could have 
so totally overthrown the well-poised balance of the 
English constitution. But we hasten to quit poHtical 
reflections, the rather that ours, we believe, will please 
neither Whig nor Tory. 


Three form a College; an you give us four, 
Let him bring his share with him. 

Beaumont and Fletcher. 

Mr. Bletson arose and paid his respects to Colonel 
Everard with the ease and courtesy of a gentleman of 
the time, though on every account grieved at his intru- 
sion, as a religious man who held his freethinking prin- 
ciples in detestation, and would effectually prevent his 
conversion of Harrison, and even of Desborough, if any- 
thing could be moulded out of such a clod, to the wor- 
ship of the Animus Mundi. Moreover, Bletson knew 
Everard to be a man of steady probity, and by no means 
disposed to close with a scheme on which he had success- 
fully sounded the other two, and which was calculated to 
assure the Commissioners of some Uttle private indem- 
nification for the trouble they were to give themselves 
in the public business. The philosopher was yet less 
pleased when he saw the magistrate and the pastor who 
had met him in his flight of the preceding evening, when 
he had been seen, partna non bene relicta, with cloak and 
doublet left behind him. 

The presence of Colonel Everard was as unpleasing to 
Desborough as to Bletson; but the former, having no 
philosophy in him, nor an idea that it was possible for 
any man to resist helping himself out of untold money, 
was chiefly embarrassed by the thought that the plunder 
which they might be able to achieve out of their trust 
might, by this unwelcome addition to their number, be 



divided into four parts instead of three; and this reflec- 
tion added to the natural awkwardness with which he 
grumbled forth a sort of welcome, addressed to Everard. 

As for Harrison, he remained Hke one on higher 
thoughts intent, his posture unmoved, his eyes fixed on 
the ceiHng as before, and in no way indicating the least 
consciousness that the company had been more than 
doubled around him. 

Meantime, Everard took his place at the table, as a 
man who assumed his own right, and pointed to his com- 
panions to sit down nearer the foot of the board. Wild- 
rake so far misunderstood his signals as to sit down 
above the Mayor; but rallying his recollection at a look 
from his patron, he rose and took his place lower, whis- 
tling, however, as he went — a sound at which the 
company stared, as at a freedom highly unbecoming. 
To complete his indecorum, he seized upon a pipe, and 
filling it from a large tobacco-box, was soon immersed 
in a cloud of his own raising, from which a hand shortly 
after emerged, seized on the black-jack of ale, withdrew 
it within the vapoury sanctuary, and, after a potential 
draught, replaced it upon the table, its owner beginning 
to renew the cloud which his intermitted exercise of the 
tube had almost allowed to subside. 

Nobody made any observation on his conduct, out of 
respect, probably, to Colonel Everard, who bit his lip, 
but continued silent, aware that censure might extract 
some escapade more unequivocally characteristic of a 
Cavalier from his refractory companion. As silence 
seemed awkward, and the others made no advances to 
break it, beyond the ordinary salutation. Colonel 
Everard at length said, * I presume, gentlemen, that you 



are somewhat surprised at my arrival here, and thus 
intruding myself into your meeting?' 

'Why the dickens should we be surprised, colonel?' 
said Desborough: 'we know his Excellency my brother- 
in-law Noll's — I mean my Lord Cromwell's — way of 
over-quartering his men in the towns he marches 
through. Thou hast obtained a share in our commis- 

'And in that,' said Bletson, smiling and bowing, 'the 
Lord General has given us the most acceptable colleague 
that could have been added to our number. No doubt 
your authority for joining with us must be under war- 
rant of the Council of State?' 

'Of that, gentlemen,' said the colonel, 'I will presently 
advise you.' He took out his warrant accordingly, and 
was about to communicate the contents ; but observing 
that there were three or four half-empty flasks upon the 
table, that Desborough looked more stupid than usual, 
and that the philosopher's eyes were reeling in his head, 
notwithstanding the temperance of Bletson's usual 
habits, he concluded that they had been fortifying 
themselves against the horrors of the haunted mansion, 
by laying in a store of what is called Dutch courage, 
and therefore prudently resolved to postpone his more 
important business with them till the cooler hour of 
morning. He, therefore, instead of presenting the Gen- 
eral's warrant superseding their commission, contented 
himself with replying, 'My business has, of course, 
some reference to your proceedings here. But here is 
— excuse my curiosity — a reverend gentleman,' point- 
ing to Holdenough, 'who has told me that you are so 
strangely embarrassed here as to require both the civil 



and spiritual authority to enable you to keep possession 
of Woodstock.' 

' Before we go into that matter,' said Bletson, blushing 
up to the eyes at the recollection of his own fears, so 
manifestly displayed, yet so inconsistent with his prin- 
ciples, 'I should like to know who this other stranger is, 
who has come with the worthy magistrate and the no 
less worthy Presbyterian? ' 

'Meaning me?' said Wildrake, laying his pipe aside. 
'Gadzooks, the time hath been that I could have an- 
swered the question with a better title ; but at present I 
am only his honour's poor clerk, or secretary, whichever 
is the current phrase.' 

* 'Fore George, my lively blade, thou art a frank fel- 
low of thy tattle,' said Desborough. 'There is my secre- 
tary Tomkins, whom men sillily enough call Fibbet, and 
the honourable Lieutenant-General Harrison's secre- 
tary, Bibbet, who are now at supper belowstairs, that 
durst not for their ears speak a phrase above their breath 
in the presence of their betters, unless to answer a 

* Yes, Colonel Everard,' said the philosopher, with his 
quiet smile, glad, apparently, to divert the conversation 
from the topic of last night's alarm, and recollections 
which humbled his self-love and self-satisfaction — 'yes; 
and when Master Fibbet and Master Bibbet do speak, 
their afi&rmations are as much in a common mould of 
mutual attestation as their names would accord in the 
verses of a poet. If Master Fibbet happens to tell a fic- 
tion. Master Bibbet swears it as truth. If Master Bibbet 
chances to have gotten drunk in the fear of the Lord, 
Master Fibbet swears he is sober. I have called my own 



secretary Gibbet, though his name chances to be only 
Gibeon, a worthy Israelite at your service, but as pure a 
youth as ever picked a lamb-bone at Paschal. But I call 
him Gibbet, merely to make up the holy trefoil with an- 
other rh^Tne. This squire of thine. Colonel Everard, 
looks as if he might be worthy to be coupled with the 
rest of the fraternity.' 

'Not I, truly,' said the Cavalier; 'I'll be coupled with 
no Jew that was ever whelped, and no Jewess neither.' 

' Scorn not for that, young man,' said the philosopher; 
' the Jews are, in point of religion, the elder brethren, you 

'The Jews older than the Christians?' said Desbor- 
ough; "fore George, they will have thee before the 
General Assembly, Bletson, if thou venturest to say so.' 

Wildrake laughed without ceremony at the gross 
ignorance of Desborough, and was joined by a sniggling 
response from behind the cupboard, which, when in- 
quired into, proved to be produced by the serving-men. 
These worthies, timorous as their betters, when they 
were supposed to have left the room, had only with- 
drawn to their present place of concealment. 

'How now, ye rogues,' said Bletson, angrily; 'do you 
not know your duty better? ' 

'We beg your worthy honour's pardon,' said one 
of the men, ' but we dared not go downstairs without 
a light.' 

'A light, ye cowardly poltroons ! ' said the philosopher; 
'what — to show which of you looks palest when a rat 
squeaks ? But take a candlestick and be gone, you cow- 
ardly villains; the devils you are so much afraid of must 
be but paltry kites, if they hawk at such bats as you are.' 



The servants, without replying, took up one of the 
candlesticks and prepared to retreat, Trusty Tomkins at 
the head of the troop, when suddenly, as they arrived at 
the door of the parlour, which had been left half open, 
it was shut violently. The three terrified domestics tum- 
bled back into the middle of the room, as if a shot had 
been discharged in their face, and all who were at the 
table started to their feet. 

Colonel Everard was incapable of a moment's fear, 
even if any thing frightful had been seen; but he remained 
stationary, to see what his companions would do, and to 
get at the bottom, if possible, of the cause of their alarm 
upon an occasion so trifling. The philosopher seemed to 
think that he was the person chiefly concerned to show 
manhood on the occasion. 

He walked to the door accordingly, murmuring at the 
cowardice of the servants; but at such a snail's pace that 
it seemed he would most willingly have been anticipated 
by any one whom his reproaches had roused to exertion. 
* Cowardly blockheads ! ' he said at last, seizing hold of 
the handle of the door, but without turning it effectually 
round, 'dare you not open a door? (still fumbling with 
the lock) — dare you not go down a staircase without a 
h'ght? Here, bring me the candle, you cowardly villains! 
By Heaven, something sighs on the outside!' 

As he spoke, he let go the handle of the parlour door, 
and stepped back a pace or two into the apartment, with 
cheeks as pale as the band he wore. 

Deus adjutor meus! ' said the Presbyterian clergyman, 
rising from his seat. * Give place, sir,' addressing Blet- 
son; *it would seem I know more of this matter than 
thou, and I bless Heaven I am armed for the conflict.' 



Bold as a grenadier about to mount a breach, yet with 
the same belief in the existence of a great danger to be 
encountered, as well as the same reliance in the goodness 
of his cause, the worthy man stepped before the philo- 
sophical Bletson, and taking a light from a sconce in 
one hand, quietly opened the door with the other, and 
standing in the threshold, said, 'Here is nothing.' 

'And who expected to see anything,' said Bletson, 

* excepting those terrified oafs, who take fright at every 
puff of wind that whistles through the passages of this 
old dungeon? ' 

'Mark you, Master Tomkins,' said one of the waiting- 
men in a whisper to the steward, 'see how boldly the 
minister pressed forward before all of them. Ah! Master 
Tomkins, our parson is the real commissioned officer of 
the church ; your lay-preachers are no better than a par- 
cel of club-men and volunteers.' 

' Follow me those who list,' said Master Holdenough, 

* or go before me those who choose, I will walk through 
the habitable places of this house before I leave it, and 
satisfy myself whether Satan hath really mingled him- 
self among these dreary dens of ancient wickedness, or 
whether, like the wicked of whom holy David speaketh, 
we are afraid and flee when no one pursueth.' 

Harrison, who had heard these words, sprung from his 
seat, and drawing his sword, exclaimed, 'Were there as 
many fiends in the house as there are hairs on my head, 
upon this cause I will charge them up to their very 

So saying, he brandished his weapon, and pressed to 
the head of the column, where he moved side by side 
with the minister. The Mayor of Woodstock next joined 

37 193 


the body, thinking himself safer perhaps in the company 
of his pastor; and the whole train moved forward in close 
order, accompanied by the servants bearing lights, to 
search the lodge for some cause of that panic with which 
they seemed to be suddenly seized. 

'Nay, take me with you, my friends,' said Colonel 
Everard, who had looked on in surprise, and was now 
about to follow the party, when Bletson laid hold on his 
cloak and begged him to remain. 

'You see, my good colonel,' he said, affecting a cour- 
age which his shaking voice belied, 'here are only you 
and I, and honest Desborough, left behind in garrison, 
while all the others are absent on a sally. We must not 
hazard the whole troops in one sortie, that were unmili- 
tary. Ha, ha, ha!' 

'In the name of Heaven, what means all this?' said 
Everard. 'I heard a foolish tale about apparitions as I 
came this way, and now I find you all half-mad with 
fear, and cannot get a word of sense among so many of 
you. Fie, Colonel Desborough — fie, Master Bletson; 
try to compose yourselves, and let me know, in Heaven's 
name, the cause of all this disturbance. One would be 
apt to think your brains were turned.' 

'And so mine well may,' said Desborough, 'ay, and 
overturned too, since my bed last night was turned up- 
side down, and I was placed for ten minutes heels upper- 
most and head downmost, like a bullock going to be 

'What means this nonsense, Master Bletson? Des- 
borough must have had the nightmare.' 

'No, faith, colonel; the goblins, or whatever else they 
were, had been favourable to honest Desborough, for 



they reposed the whole of his person on that part of his 
body which — hark, did you not hear something? — is 
the central point of gravity, namely, his head.' 

'Did you see anything to alarm you? ' said the colonel. 

'Nothing,' said Bletson; 'but we heard hellish noises, 
as all our people did, and I, believing little of ghosts and 
apparitions, concluded the Cavaliers were taking us at 
advantage, so, remembering Rainsborough's fate, I e'en 
jumped the window, and ran to Woodstock, to call the 
soldiers to the rescue of Harrison and Desborough.' 

* And did you not first go to see what the danger was? ' 

'Ah, my good friend, you forget that I laid down my 
commission at the time of the self-denying ordinance. It 
would have been quite inconsistent with my duty as a 
Parliament man to be brawling amidst a set of ruffians, 
without any military authority. No; when the Parlia- 
ment commanded me to sheathe my sword, colonel, 
I have too much veneration for their authority to be 
found again with it drawn in my hand.' 

'But the Parliament,' said Desborough, hastily, 'did 
not command you to use your heels when your hands 
could have saved a man from choking. Ods dickens ! you 
might have stopped when you saw my bed canted heels 
uppermost, and me half-stifled in the bedclothes — you 
might, I say, have stopped and lent a hand to put it to 
rights, instead of jumping out of the window, like a new- 
shorn sheep, so soon as you had run across my room,' 

'Nay, worshipful Master Desborough,' said Bletson, 
winking on Everard, to show that he was playing on his 
thick-skulled colleague, ' how could I tell your particular 
mode of reposing? There are many tastes: I have known 
men who slept by choice on a slope or angle of forty-five.' 



'Yes, but did ever a man sleep standing on his head. 
except by miracle? ' said Desborough. 

'Now, as to miracles,' said the philosopher, confident 
in the presence of Everard, besides that an opportunity 
of scoffing at religion really in some degree diverted his 
fear, 'I leave these out of the question, seeing that the 
evidence on such subjects seems as little qualified to 
carry conviction as a horsehair to land a leviathan.' 

A loud clap of thunder, or a noise as formidable, rang 
through the lodge as the scoffer had ended, which struck 
him pale and motionless, and made Desborough throw 
himself on his knees and repeat exclamations and pray- 
ers in much admired confusion. 

'There must be contrivance here,' exclaimed Everard; 
and snatching one of the candles from a sconce, he 
rushed out of the apartment, little heeding the entreaties 
of the philosopher, who, in the extremity of his distress, 
conjured him by the Animus Mundi to remain to the 
assistance of a distressed philosopher endangered by 
witches, and a Parliament-man assaulted by ruffians. 
As for Desborough, he only gaped like a clown in a pan- 
tomime; and, doubtful whether to follow or stop, his 
natural indolence prevailed, and he sat still. 

When on the landing-place of the stairs, Everard 
paused a moment to consider which was the best course 
to take. He heard the voices of men talking fast and 
loud, like people who wish to drown their fears, in the 
lower story; and aware that nothing could be discovered 
by those whose inquiries were conducted in a manner so 
noisy, he resolved to proceed in a different direction, and 
examine the second floor, which he had now gained. 

He had known every corner, both of the inhabited and 


uninhabited part of the mansion, and availed himself of 
the candle to traverse two or three intricate passages, 
which he was afraid he might not remember with suffi- 
cient accuracy. This movement conveyed him to a sort 
of (eil-de-bceuf, an octagon vestibule, or small hall, from 
which various rooms opened. Amongst these doors, 
Everard selected that which led to a very long, narrow, 
and dilapidated gallery, built in the time of Henry VIII., 
and which, running along the whole south-west side of 
the building, communicated at different points with the 
rest of the mansion. This he thought was likely to be the 
post occupied by those who proposed to act the sprites 
upon the occasion; especially as its length and shape 
gave him some idea that it was a spot where the bold 
thunder might in many ways be imitated. 

Determined to ascertain the truth if possible, he 
placed his light on a table in the vestibule, and applied 
himself to open the door into the gallery. At this point 
he found himself strongly opposed, either by a bolt 
drawn, or as he rather conceived, by somebody from 
within resisting his attempt. He was induced to believe 
the latter, because the resistance slackened and was re- 
newed, like that of human strength, instead of present- 
ing the permanent opposition of an inanimate obstacle. 
Though Everard was a strong and active young man, 
he exhausted his strength in the vain attempt to open 
the door; and having paused to take breath, was about 
to renew his efforts with foot and shoulder, and to call at 
the same time for assistance, when, to his surprise, on 
again attempting the door more gently, in order to ascer- 
tain if possible where the strength of the opposing ob- 
stacle was situated, he found it give way to a very slight 



impulse, some impediment fell broken to the ground, 
and the door flew wide open. The gust of wind occa- 
sioned by the sudden opening of the door blew out the 
candle, and Everard was left in darkness, save where the 
moonshine, which the long side-row of latticed windows 
dimmed, could imperfectly force its way into the gal- 
lery, which lay in ghostly length before him. 

The melancholy and doubtful twilight was increased 
by a quantity of creeping plants on the outside, which, 
since all had been neglected in these ancient halls, now 
completely overgrown, had in some instances greatly 
diminished, and in others almost quite choked up, the 
space of the lattices, extending between the heavy stone 
shaft-work which divided the windows, both lengthways 
and across. On the other side there were no windows at 
all, and the gallery had been once hung round with paint- 
ings, chiefly portraits, by which that side of the apart- 
ment had been adorned. Most of the pictures had been 
removed, yet the empty frames of some, and the tat- 
tered remnants of others, were still visible along the 
extent of the waste gallery; the look of which was so 
desolate, and it appeared so well adapted for mischief, 
supposing there were enemies near him, that Everard 
could not help pausing at the entrance, and recommend- 
ing himself to God, ere, drawing his sword, he advanced 
into the apartment, treading as hghtly as possible, and 
keeping in the shadow as much as he could. 

Markham Everard was by no means superstitious, 
but he had the usual credulity of the times; and though 
he did not yield easily to tales of supernatural visita- 
tions, yet he could not help thinking he was in the very 
situation where, if such things were ever permitted, 



they might be expected to take place, while his own 
stealthy and ill-assured pace, his drawn weapon and ex- 
tended arms, being the very attitude and action of doubt 
and suspicion, tended to increase in his mind the gloomy 
feeHngs of which they are the usual indications, and with 
which they are constantly associated. Under such un- 
pleasant impressions, and conscious of the neighbour- 
hood of something unfriendly. Colonel Everard had al- 
ready advanced about half along the gallery, when he 
heard some one sigh very near him, and a low soft voice 
pronounce his name. 

'Here I am,' he replied, while his heart beat thick and 
short. 'Who calls on Markham Everard?' 

Another sigh was the only answer. 

'Speak,' said the colonel, 'whoever or whatsoever 
you are, and tell with what intent and purpose you are 
lurking in these apartments?' 

'With a better intent than yours,' returned the soft 

'Than mine!* answered Everard in great surprise. 
'Who are you that dare judge of my intents?' 

'What or who are you, Markham Everard, who wan- 
der by moonlight through these deserted halls of royalty, 
where none should be but those who mourn their down- 
fall, or are sworn to avenge it? ' 

' It is — and yet it cannot be,' said Everard; 'yet it is, 
and must be. Alice Lee, the Devil or you speaks. An- 
swer me, I conjure you. Speak openly — on what dan- 
gerous scheme are you engaged? where is your father? 
why are you here? wherefore do you run so deadly a 
venture? Speak, I conjure you, AHce Lee!' 

' She whom you call on is at the distance of miles from 


this spot. What if her Genius speaks when she is ab- 
sent? what if the soul of an ancestress of hers and yours 
were now addressing you? what if — ' 

'Nay,' answered Everard, 'but what if the dearest of 
human beings has caught a touch of her father's enthu- 
siasm? what if she is exposing her person to danger, her 
reputation to scandal, by traversing in disguise and 
darkness a house filled with armed men? Speak to me, 
my fair cousin, in your own person. I am furnished with 
powers to protect my uncle. Sir Henry — to protect you 
too, dearest Alice, even against the consequences of this 
visionary and wild attempt. Speak — I see where you 
are, and, with all my respect, I cannot submit to be thus 
practised upon. Trust me — trust your cousin Mark- 
ham with your hand, and believe that he will die or place 
you in honourable safety.' 

As he spoke, he exercised his eyes as keenly as possi- 
ble to detect where the speaker stood, and it seemed to 
him that about three yards from him there was a shad- 
owy form, of which he could not discern even the out- 
line, placed as it was within the deep and prolonged 
shadow thrown by a space of wall intervening betwixt 
two windows, upon that side of the room from which 
the light was admitted. He endeavoured to calculate, 
as well as he could, the distance betwixt himself and the 
object which he watched, under the impression that, if, 
by even using a slight degree of compulsion, he could 
detach his beloved Alice from the confederacy into 
which he supposed her father's zeal for the cause of 
royalty had engaged her, he would be rendering them 
both the most essential favour. He could not indeed 
but conclude that, however successfully the plot which 



he conceived to be in agitation had proceeded against 
the timid Bletson, the stupid Desborough, and the 
crazy Harrison, there was little doubt that at length 
their artifices must necessarily bring shame and danger 
on those engaged in it. 

It must also be remembered, that Everard's affection 
to his cousin, although of the most respectful and de- 
voted character, partook less of the distant veneration 
which a lover of those days entertained for the lady 
whom he worshipped with humble diffidence, than of 
the fond and familiar feelings which a brother enter- 
tains towards a younger sister, whom he thinks himself 
entitled to guide, advise, and even in some degree to 
control. So kindly and intimate had been their inter- 
course, that he had little more hesitation in endeavour- 
ing to arrest her progress in the dangerous course in 
which she seemed to be engaged, even at the risk of giv- 
ing her momentary offence, than he would have had in 
snatching her from a torrent or conflagration, at the 
chance of hurting her by the violence of his grasp. All 
this passed through his mind in the course of a single 
minute; and he resolved at all events to detain her on 
the spot, and compel, if possible, an explanation from her. 

With this purpose, Everard again conjured his cousin, 
in the name of Heaven, to give up this idle and danger- 
ous mummery; and lending an accurate ear to her 
answer, endeavoured from the sound to calculate as 
nearly as possible the distance between them. 

*I am not she for whom you take me,' said the voice; 
'and dearer regards than aught connected with her life 
or death bid me warn you to keep aloof and leave this 



'Not till I have convinced you of your childish folly,' 
said the colonel, springing forward, and endeavouring to 
catch hold of her who spoke to him. But no female form 
was within his grasp. On the contrary, he was met by a 
shock which could come from no woman's arm, and 
which was rude enough to stretch him on his back on the 
floor. At the same time he felt the point of a sword at 
his throat, and his hands so completely mastered, that 
not the slightest defence remained to him. 

*A cry for assistance,' said a voice near him, but not 
that which he had hitherto heard, ' will be stifled in your 
blood. No harm is meant you — be wise, and be silent.' 

The fear of death, which Everard had often braved in 
the field of battle, became more intense as he felt him- 
self in the hands of unknown assassins, and totally de- 
void of all means of defence. The sharp point of the 
sword pricked his bare throat, and the foot of him who 
held it was upon his breast. He felt as if a single thrust 
would put an end to life, and all the feverish joys and 
sorrows which agitate us so strangely, and from which 
we are yet so reluctant to part. Large drops of perspira- 
tion stood upon his forehead; his heart throbbed, as if 
it would burst from its confinement in the bosom ; he ex- 
perienced the agony which fear imposes on the brave 
man, acute in proportion to that which pain inflicts 
when it subdues the robust and healthy. 

' Cousin Alice,' he attempted to speak, and the sword's- 
point pressed his throat yet more closely — * cousin, let 
me not be murdered in a manner so fearful.' 

*I tell you,' replied the voice, 'that you speak to one 
who is not here; but your life is not aimed at, provided 
you swear on your faith as a Christian and your honour 



as a gentleman that you will conceal what has happened, 
whether from the people below or from any other person. 
On this condition you may rise; and if you seek her, 
you will find Alice Lee at Joceline's cottage in the forest.' 

'Since I may not help myself otherwise/ said Ever- 
ard, * I swear, as I have a sense of religion and honour, I 
will say nothing of this violence, nor make any search 
after those who are concerned in it.' 

* For that we care nothing,' said the voice. ' Thou hast 
an example how well thou mayst catch mischief on thy 
own part; but we are in case to defy thee. Rise and be- 

The foot, the sword's-point, were withdrawn, and 
Everard was about to start up hastily, when the voice, 
in the same softness of tone which distinguished it at 
first, said, ' No haste — cold and bare steel is yet around 
thee. Now — now — now [the words dying away as at 
a distance] — thou art free. Be secret and be safe.' 

Markham Everard arose, and, in rising, embarrassed 
his feet with his own sword, which he had dropped when 
springing forward, as he supposed, to lay hold of his fair 
cousin. He snatched it up in haste, and as his hand 
clasped the hilt, his courage, which had given way under 
the apprehension of instant death, began to return; he 
considered, with almost his usual composure, what was 
to be done next. Deeply affronted at the disgrace which 
he had sustained, he questioned for an instant whether 
he ought to keep his extorted promise, or should not 
rather summon assistance, and make haste to discover 
and seize those who had been recently engaged in such 
violence on his person. But these persons, be they who 
they would, had had his life in their power; he had 



pledged his word in ransom of it; and what was more, he 
could not divest himself of the idea that his beloved 
Alice was a confidante, at least, if not an actor, in the 
confederacy which had thus baffled him. This prepos- 
session determined his conduct; for, though angry at sup- 
posing she must have been accessory to his personal ill- 
treatment, he could not in any event think of an instant 
search through the mansion, which might have compro- 
mised her safety, or that of his uncle. 'But I will to the 
hut,' he said — 'I will instantly to the hut, ascertain her 
share in this wild and dangerous confederacy, and snatch 
her from ruin, if it be possible.' 

As, under the influence of the resolution which he had 
formed, Everard groped his way through the gallery, 
and regained the vestibule, he heard his name called by 
the well-known voice of Wildrake. 'What — ho! — 
holla! — Colonel Everard — Mark Everard — it is 
dark as the Devil's mouth — speak — where are you? 
The witches are keeping their hellish sabbath here, as 
I think. Where are you?' 

' Here — here ! ' answered Everard. ' Cease your bawl- 
ing. Turn to the left, and you will meet me.' 

Guided by his voice, Wildrake soon appeared, with a 
light in one hand and his drawn sword in the other. 
'Where have you been?' he said — 'what has detained 
you? Here are Bletson and the brute Desborough terri- 
fied out of their Uves, and Harrison raving mad, be- 
cause the Devil will not be civil enough to rise to fight 
him in single duello.^ 

' Saw or heard you nothing as you came along? ' said 

'Nothing,' said his friend, 'excepting that, when I 



first entered this cursed ruinous labyrinth, the light was 
struck out of my hand, as if by a switch, which obliged 
me to return for another.' 

*I must come by a horse instantly, Wildrake, and 
another for thyself, if it be possible.' 

*We can take two of those belonging to the troopers,' 
answered Wildrake. 'But for what purpose should we 
run away, like rats, at this time in the evening? Is the 
house falling?' 

*I cannot answer you,' said the colonel, pushing for- 
ward into a room where there were some remains of fur- 

Here the Cavalier took a more strict view of his per- 
son, and exclaimed in wonder, ' What the devil have you 
been fighting with, Markham, that has bedizened you 
after this sorry fashion? ' 

'Fighting!' exclaimed Everard. 

'Yes,' replied his trusty attendant, 'I say fighting. 
Look at yourself in the mirror.' 

He did, and saw he was covered with dust and blood. 
The latter proceeded from a scratch which he had re- 
ceived in the throat, as he struggled to extricate himself. 
With unaffected alarm, Wildrake undid his friend's 
collar, and with eager haste proceeded to examine the 
wound, his hands trembling, and his eyes glistening with 
apprehension for his benefactor's Hfe. When, in spite of 
Everard's opposition, he had examined the hurt, and 
found it trifling, he resumed the natural wildness of his 
character, perhaps the more readily that he had felt 
shame in departing from it into one which expressed 
more of feeling than he would be thought to possess. 

'If that be the Devil's work, Mark,' said he, ' the Foul 


Fiend's claws are not nigh so formidable as they are re- 
presented; but no one shall say that your blood has been 
shed unrevenged, while Roger Wildrake was by your 
side. Where left you this same imp? I will back to 
the field of fight, confront him with my rapier, and were 
his nails tenpenny nails, and his teeth as long as those of 
a harrow, he shall render me reason for the injury he has 
done you.' 

'Madness — madness!' exclaimed Everard; 'I had 
this trifling hurt by a fall ; a basin and towel will wipe it 
away. Meanwhile, if you will ever do me kindness, get 
the troop-horses: command them for the service of the 
public, in the name of his Excellency the General. I will 
but wash, and join you in an instant before the gate.' 

* Well, I will serve you, Everard, as a mute serves the 
Grand Signior, without knowing why or wherefore. But 
will you go without seeing these people below? ' 

'Without seeing any one,' said Everard; 'lose no time, 
for God's sake.' 

He found out the non-commissioned officer, and de- 
manded the horses in a tone of authority, to which the 
corporal yielded undisputed obedience, as one well aware 
of Colonel Everard's military rank and consequence. 
So all was in a minute or two ready for the expedition. 


She kneel'd, and saint-like 
Cast her fair eyes to heaven, and pray'd devoutly. 

King Henry VIII. 

Colonel Everard's departure at the late hour, for so 
it was then thought, of seven in the evening excited 
much speculation. There was a gathering of menials 
and dependents in the outer chamber, or hall, for no one 
doubted that his sudden departure was owing to his hav- 
ing, as they expressed it, 'seen something,' and all de- 
sired to know how a man of such acknowledged courage 
as Everard looked under the awe of a recent apparition. 
But he gave them no time to make comments ; for, strid- 
ing through the hall wrapt in his riding-suit, he threw 
himself on horseback, and rode furiously through the 
chase, towards the hut of the keeper JoHfife. 

It was the disposition of Markham Everard to be hot, 
keen, earnest, impatient, and decisive to a degree of 
precipitation. The acquired habits which education had 
taught, and which the strong moral and rehgious disci- 
pline of his sect had greatly strengthened, were such as 
to enable him to conceal, as well as to check, this con- 
stitutional violence, and to place him upon his guard 
against indulging it. But when in the high tide of violent 
excitation, the natural impetuosity of the young soldier's 
temper was sometimes apt to overcome these artificial 
obstacles, and then, like a torrent foaming over a wear, it 
became more furious as if in revenge for the constrained 



calm which it had been for some time obliged to assume. 
In these instances he was accustomed to see only that 
point to which his thoughts were bent, and to move 
straight towards it, whether a moral object or the storm- 
ing of a breach, without either calculating or even ap- 
pearing to see the difficulties which were before him. 

At present, his ruling and impelling motive was to de- 
tach his beloved cousin, if possible, from the dangerous 
and discreditable machinations in which he suspected 
her to have engaged, or, on the other hand, to discover 
that she really had no concern with these stratagems. 
He should know how to judge of that in some measure, 
he thought, by finding her present or absent at the hut, 
towards which he was now galloping. He had read, in- 
deed, in some ballad or minstrel's tale, of a singular de- 
ception practised on a jealous old man by means of a 
subterranean communication between his house and that 
of a neighbour, which the lady in question made use of 
to present herself in the two places alternately with such 
speed and so much address that, after repeated experi- 
ments, the dotard was deceived in the opinion that his 
wife, and the lady who was so very like her, and to whom 
his neighbour paid so much attention, were two differ- 
ent persons. But in the present case there was no room 
for such a deception : the distance was too great, and as 
he took by much the nearest way from the castle, and 
rode full speed, it would be impossible, he knew, for his 
cousin, who was a timorous horsewoman even by day- 
light, to have got home before him. 

Her father might indeed be displeased at his interfer- 
ence; but what title had he to be so? Was not Alice Lee 
the near relation of his blood, the dearest object of his 



heart, and would he now abstain from an effort to save 
her from the consequences of a silly and wild conspiracy, 
because the old knight's spleen might be awakened by 
Everard's making his appearance at their present dwell- 
ing contrary to his commands? No. He would endure 
the old man's harsh language, as he endured the blast 
of the autumn wind, which was howling around him, and 
swinging the crashing branches of the trees under which 
he passed, but could not oppose, or even retard, his jour- 

If he found not Alice, as he had reason to believe she 
would be absent, to Sir Henry Lee himself he would ex- 
plain what he had witnessed. However she might have 
become accessory to the juggling tricks performed at 
Woodstock, he could not but think it was without her 
father's knowledge, so severe a judge was the old knight 
of female propriety, and so strict an assertor of female 
decorum. He would take the same opportunity, he 
thought, of stating to him the well-grounded hopes he 
entertained that his dwelling at the lodge might be pro- 
longed, and the sequestrators removed from the royal 
mansion and domains, by other means than those of the 
absurd species of intimidation which seemed to be re- 
sorted to, to scare them from thence. 

All this seemed to be so much within the line of his 
duty as a relative, that it was not until he halted at the 
door of the ranger's hut, and threw his bridle into Wild- 
rake's hand, that Everard recollected the fiery, high, 
and unbending character of Sir Henry Lee, and felt, 
even when his fingers were on the latch, a reluctance to 
intrude himself upon the presence of the irritable old 

87 209 


But there was no time for hesitation. Bevis, who had 
already bayed more than once from within the lodge, was 
growing impatient, and Everard had but just time to 
bid Wildrake hold the horses until he should send Joce- 
line to his assistance, when old Joan unpinned the door, 
to demand who was without at that time of the night. 
To have attempted anything like an explanation with 
poor Dame Joan would have been quite hopeless; the 
colonel therefore put her gently aside, and shaking him- 
self loose from the hold she had laid on his cloak, en- 
tered the kitchen of Jocehne's dwelUng. Bevis, who had 
advanced to support Joan in her opposition, humbled 
his lion port, with that wonderful instinct which makes 
his race remember so long those with whom they have 
been familiar, and acknowledged his master's relative 
by doing homage in his fashion with his head and tail. 

Colonel Everard, more uncertain in his purpose every 
moment as the necessity of its execution drew near, stole 
over the floor like one who treads in a sick-chamber, and 
opening the door of the interior apartment with a slow 
and trembling hand, as he would have withdrawn the 
curtains of a dying friend, he saw within the scene which 
we are about to describe. 

Sir Henry Lee sat in a wicker arm-chair by the fire. 
He was wrapped in a cloak, and his limbs extended on 
a stool, as if he were suffering from gout or indisposition. 
His long white beard, flowing over the dark-coloured 
garment, gave him more the appearance of a hermit than 
of an aged soldier or man of quality; and that character 
was increased by the deep and devout attention with 
which he listened to a respectable old man, whose dilapi- 
dated dress showed still something of the clerical habit, 



and who, with a low, but full and deep, voice, was read- 
ing the Evening Service according to the Church of Eng- 
land. Alice Lee kneeled at the feet of her father, and 
made the responses with a voice that might have suited 
the choir of angels, and a modest and serious devotion 
which suited the melody of her tone. The face of the 
officiating clergyman would have been good-looking had 
it not been disfigured with a black patch which covered 
the left eye and a part of his face, and had not the fea- 
tures which were visible been marked with the traces of 
care and suffering. 

When Colonel Everard entered, the clergyman raised 
his finger, as cautioning him to forbear disturbing the 
divine service of the evening, and pointed to a seat; to 
which, struck deeply with the scene he had witnessed, 
the intruder stole with as light a step as possible, and 
knelt devoutly down as one of the httle congregation. 

Everard had been bred by his father what was called 
a Puritan — a member of a sect who, in the primitive 
sense of the word, were persons that did not except 
against the doctrines of the Church of England, or even 
in all respects against its hierarchy, but chiefly dissented 
from it on the subject of certain ceremonies, habits, and 
forms of ritual, which were insisted upon by the cele- 
brated and unfortunate Laud with ill-timed tenacity. 
But even if, from the habits of his father's house, Ever- 
ard's opinions had been diametrically opposed to the doc- 
trines of the EngUsh Church, he must have been recon- 
ciled to them by the regularity with which the service 
was performed in his uncle's family at Woodstock, who, 
during the blossom of his fortunes, generally had a chap- 
lain residing in the lodge for that special purpose. 



Yet, deep as was the habitual veneration with which 
he heard the impressive service of the church, Everard's 
eyes could not help straying towards Alice and his 
thoughts wandering to the purpose of his presence there. 
She seemed to have recognised him at once, for there 
was a deeper glow than usual upon her cheek, her fingers 
trembled as they turned the leaves of her prayer-book, 
and her voice, lately as firm as it was melodious, faltered 
when she repeated the responses. It appeared to Ever- 
ard, as far as he could collect by the stolen glances which 
he directed towards her, that the character of her beauty 
as well as of her outward appearance, had changed with 
her fortunes. 

The beautiful and high-born young lady had now 
approached as nearly as possible to the brown stuff dress 
of an ordinary village maiden; but what she had lost 
in gaiety of appearance, she had gained as it seemed in 
dignity. Her beautiful light-brown tresses, now folded 
around her head, and only curled where nature had so 
arranged them, gave her an air of simplicity which did 
not exist when her head-dress showed the skill of a curi- 
ous tirewoman. A hght, joyous air, with something of a 
humorous expression, which seemed to be looking for 
amusement, had vanished before the touch of affliction, 
and a calm melancholy supplied its place, which seemed 
on the watch to administer comfort to others. Perhaps 
the former arch, though innocent, expression of counte- 
nance was uppermost in her lover's recollection when he 
concluded that Alice had acted a part in the disturb- 
ances which had taken place at the lodge. It is certain 
that, when he now looked upon her, it was with shame 
for having nourished such a suspicion, and the resolution 



to believe rather that the Devil had imitated her voice 
than that a creature who seemed so much above the 
feelings of this world, and so nearly allied to the purity 
of the next, should have had the indelicacy to mingle 
in such manoeuvres as he himself and others had been 
subjected to. 

These thoughts shot through his mind, in spite of the 
impropriety of indulging them at such a moment. The 
service now approached the close; and, a good deal to 
Colonel Everard's surprise as well as confusion, the 
ofi&ciating priest, in firm and audible tone, and with 
every attribute of dignity, prayed to the Almighty to 
bless and preserve 'Our Sovereign Lord, King Charles, 
the lawful and undoubted king of these realms.' The 
petition (in those days most dangerous) was pronounced 
with a full, raised, and distinct articulation, as if the 
priest challenged all who heard him to dissent if they 
dared. If the repubhcan officer did not assent to the 
petition, he thought at least it was no time to protest 
against it. 

The service was concluded in the usual manner, and 
the little congregation arose. It now included Wildrake, 
who had entered during the latter prayer, and was the 
first of the party to speak, running up to the priest and 
shaking him by the hand most heartily, swearing at the 
same time that he truly rejoiced to see him. The good 
clergyman returned the pressure with a smile, observing, 
he should have believed his asseveration without an 
oath. In the mean while. Colonel Everard, approaching 
his uncle's seat, made a deep inclination of respect, first 
to Sir Henry Lee and then to Alice, whose colour now 
spread from her cheek to her brow and bosom. 



*I have to crave your excuse,' said the colonel with 
hesitation, ' for having chosen for my visit, which I dare 
not hope would be very agreeable at any time, a season 
most peculiarly unsuitable.' 

*So far from it, nephew,' answered Sir Henry, with 
much more mildness of manner than Everard had dared 
to expect, 'that your visits at other times would be 
much more welcome had we the fortune to see you often 
at our hours of worship.' 

* I hope the time will soon come, sir, when Englishmen 
of all sects and denominations,' replied Everard, 'will be 
free in conscience to worship in common the great 
Father, whom they all after their manner call by that 
affectionate name.' 

*I hope so too, nephew,' said the old man in the same 
unaltered tone; 'and we will not at present dispute 
whether you would have the Church of England coalesce 
with the Conventicle or the Conventicle conform to the 
Church. It was, I ween, not to settle jarring creeds that 
you have honoured our poor dwelHng, where, to say the 
truth, we dared scarce have expected to see you again, 
so coarse was our last welcome.' 

'I should be happy to believe,' said Colonel Everard, 
hesitating, ' that — that — in short, my presence was 
not now so unwelcome here as on that occasion.' 

'Nephew,' said Sir Henry, 'I will be frank with you. 
When you were last here, I thought you had stolen from 
me a precious pearl, which at one time it would have 
been my pride and happiness to have bestowed on you ; 
but which, being such as you have been of late, I would 
bury in the depths of the earth rather than give to your 
keeping. This somewhat chafed, as honest Will says, 



"the rash humour which my mother gave me." I 
thought I was robbed, and I thought I saw the rob- 
ber before me. I am mistaken: I am not robbed; and 
the attempt without the deed I can pardon.' 

'I would not willingly seek ojffence in your words, sir,' 
said Colonel Everard, 'when their general purport 
sounds kind ; but I can protest before Heaven that my 
views and wishes towards you and your family are as 
void of selfish hopes and selfish ends as they are fraught 
with love to you and to yours.' 

'Let us hear them, man; we are not much accustomed 
to good wishes nowadays, and their very rarity will 
make them welcome.' 

*I would willingly, Sir Henry, since you might not 
choose me to give you a more afTectionate name, convert 
those wishes into something effectual for your comfort. 
Your fate, as the world now stands, is bad, and, I fear, 
like to be worse.' 

'Worse than I expect it cannot be. Nephew, I do not 
shrink before my changes of fortune. I shall wear 
coarser clothes, I shall feed on more ordinary food ; men 
will not doff their cap to me as they were wont, when I 
was the great and the wealthy. What of that? Old 
Harry Lee loved his honour better than his title, his faith 
better than his land and lordship. Have I not seen the 
30th of January? I am neither philomath nor astrologer; 
but old Will teaches me that when green leaves fall 
winter is at hand, and that darkness will come when the 
sun sets.' 

'Bethink you, sir,' said Colonel Everard, 'if, without 
any submission asked, any oath taken, any engagement 
imposed, express or tacit, excepting that you are not to 



excite disturbances in the public peace, you can be 
restored to your residence in the lodge, and your usual 
fortunes and perquisites there — I have great reason to 
hope this may be permitted, if not expressly, at least on 

' Yes, I understand you. I am to be treated like the 
royal coin, marked with the ensign of the Rump, to 
make it pass current, although I am too old to have the 
royal insignia grinded off from me. Kinsman, I will have 
none of this. I have Hved at the lodge too long; and let 
me tell you, I had left it in scorn long since, but for the 
orders of one whom I may yet live to do service to. I 
will take nothing from the usurpers, be their name 
Rump or Cromwell — be they one devil or legion : I will 
not take from them an old cap to cover my grey hairs, a 
cast cloak to protect my frail limbs from the cold. They 
shall not say they have, by their unwilling bounty, made 
Abraham rich. I will hve, as I will die, the Loyal Lee.' 

'May I hope you will think of it, sir; and that you 
will, perhaps, considering what slight submission is 
asked, give me a better answer?' 

' Sir, if I retract my opinion, which is not my wont, 
you shall hear of it. And now, cousin, have you more to 
say? We keep that worthy clergyman in the outer room.' 

' Something I had to say — something touching my 
cousin Alice,' said Everard, with embarrassment; 'but I 
fear that the prejudices of both are so strong against 
me — ' 

' Sir, I dare turn my daughter loose to you. I will go 
join the good doctor in Dame Joan's apartment. I am 
not unwilling that you should know that the girl hath, in 
all reasonable sort, the exercise of her free will.' 



He withdrew, and left the cousins together. 

Colonel Everard advanced to Alice, and was about to 
take her hand. She drew back, took the seat which her 
father had occupied, and pointed out to him one at some 

'Are we then so much estranged, my dearest Alice?' 
he said. 

'We will speak of that presently,' she replied. 'In the 
first place, let me ask the cause of your visit here at so 
late an hour.' 

'You heard,' said Everard, 'what I stated to your 

' I did ; but that seems to have been only part of your 
errand: something there seemed to be which applied 
particularly to me.' 

'It was a fancy — a strange mistake,' answered 
Everard. 'May I ask if you have been abroad this 

' Certainly not,' she replied. 'I have small temptation 
to wander from my present home, poor as it is; and 
whilst here I have important duties to discharge. But 
why does Colonel Everard ask so strange a question?' 

'Tell me in turn, why your cousin Markham has lost 
the name of friendship and kindred, and even of some 
nearer feeling, and then I will answer you, Alice.' 

' It is soon answered,' she said. ' When you drew your 
sword against my father's cause, almost against his per- 
son, I studied, more than I should have done, to find 
excuse for you. I knew — that is, I thought I knew — 
your high feelings of public duty. I knew the opinions in 
which you had been bred up; and I said, "I will not, 
even for this, cast him off: he opposes his King because 



he is loyal to his country." You endeavoured to avert 
the great and concluding tragedy of the 30th of January, 
and it confirmed me in my opinion that Markham 
Everard might be misled, but could not be base or 

'And what has changed your opinion, Alice? or who 
dare,' said Everard, reddening, 'attach such epithets to 
the name of Markham Everard? ' 

' I am no subject,' she said, * for exercising your valour, 
Colonel Everard, nor do I mean to offend. But you will 
find enough of others who will avow that Colonel Ever- 
ard is truckling to the usurper Cromwell, and that all his 
fair pretexts of forwarding his country's liberties are 
but a screen for driving a bargain with the successful 
encroacher, and obtaining the best terms he can for 
himself and his family,' 

* For myself — never ! ' 

'But for your family you have. Yes, I am well as- 
sured that you have pointed out to the military tyrant 
the way in which he and his satraps may master the 
government. Do you think my father or I would accept 
an asylum purchased at the price of England's liberty 
and your honour? ' 

' Gracious Heaven, Alice, what is this? You accuse me 
of pursuing the very course which so lately had your 
approbation ! ' 

' When you spoke with authority of your father, and re- 
commended our submission to the existing government, 
such as it was, I own I thought — that my father's 
grey head might, without dishonour, have remained un- 
der the roof where it had so long been sheltered. But 
did your father sanction your becoming the adviser of 



yonder ambitious soldier to a new course of innovation, 
and his abettor in the establishment of a new species of 
tyranny? It is one thing to submit to oppression, an- 
other to be the agent of tyrants. And 0, Markham — 
— their bloodhound ! ' 

'How! bloodhound? What mean you? I own it is true 
I could see with content the wounds of this bleeding 
country stanched, even at the expense of beholding 
Cromwell, after his matchless rise, take a yet further 
step to power — but to be his bloodhound ! What is 
your meaning? ' 

' It is false, then? I thought I could swear it had been 

'What, in the name of God, is it you ask?' 

' It is false that you are engaged to betray the young 
King of Scotland? ' 

'Betray him! I betray him, or any fugitive! Never! 
I would he were well out of England. I would lend him 
my aid to escape, were he in the house at this instant, 
and think in acting so I did his enemies good service, by 
preventing their soiUng themselves with his blood; but 
betray him, never ! ' 

'I knew it — I was sure it was impossible. Oh, be yet 
more honest: disengage yourself from yonder gloomy 
and ambitious soldier! Shun him and his schemes, 
which are formed in injustice, and can only be reaUsed in 
yet more blood.' 

'BeUeve me,' replied Everard, 'that I choose the line 
of poHcy best befitting the times.' 

' Choose that,' she said, 'which best befits duty, Mark- 
ham — which best befits truth and honour. Do your 
duty, and let Providence decide the rest. Farewell, we 



tempt my father's patience too far; you know his temper 
— farewell, Markham.' 

She extended her hand, which he pressed to his lips, 
and left the apartment. A silent bow to his uncle, and a 
sign to Wildrake, whom he found in the kitchen of the 
cabin, were the only tokens of recognition exhibited, 
and leaving the hut, he was soon mounted, and, with his 
companion, advanced on his return to the lodge. 


Deeds are done on earth 
Which have their punishment ere the earth closes 
Upon the perpetrators. Be it the woriiing 
Of the remorse-stirr'd fancy, or the vision, 
Distinct and real, of unearthly being, 
All ages witness, that beside the couch 
Of the fell homicide oft stalks the ghost 
Of him be slew, and shows the shadowy wound. 

Old Play. 

EvERARD had come to Joceline's hut as fast as horse 
could bear him, and with the same impetuosity of pur- 
pose as of speed. He saw no choice in the course to be 
pursued, and felt in his own imagination the strongest 
right to direct, and even reprove, his cousin, beloved as 
she was, on account of the dangerous machinations with 
which she appeared to have connected herself. He re- 
turned slowly, and in a very different mood. 

Not only had Alice, prudent as beautiful, appeared 
completely free from the weakness of conduct which 
seemed to give him some authority over her, but her 
views of policy, if less practicable, were so much more 
direct and noble than his own, as led him to question 
whether he had not compromised himself too rashly 
with Cromwell, even although the state of the country 
was so greatly divided and torn by faction, that the 
promotion of the General to the possession of the execu- 
tive government seemed the only chance of escaping a 
renewal of the Civil War. The more exalted and purer 
sentiments of Alice lowered him in his own eyes; and 
though unshaken in his opinion, that it were better the 



vessel should be steered by a pilot having no good title 
to the office than that she should run upon the breakers, 
he felt that he was not espousing the most direct, manly, 
and disinterested side of the question. 

As he rode on, immersed in these unpleasant contem- 
plations, and considerably lessened in his own esteem by 
what had happened, Wildrake, who rode by his side, 
and was no friend to long silence, began to enter into 
conversation. *I have been thinking, Mark,' said he, 
' that if you and I had been called to the bar — as, by the 
by, has been in danger of happening to me in more senses 
than one — I say, had we become barristers, I would 
have had the better-oiled tongue of the two — the 
fairer art of persuasion.' 

'Perhaps so,' replied Everard, 'though I never heard 
thee use any, save to induce an usurer to lend thee 
money or a taverner to abate a reckoning.' 

* And yet this day, or rather night, I could have, as I 
think, made a conquest which baffled you.' 

'Indeed?' said the colonel, becoming attentive. 

'Why, look you,' said Wildrake, 'it was a main object 
with you to induce Mistress Alice Lee — by Heaven, 
she is an exquisite creature, I approve of your taste, 
Mark — I say, you desire to persuade her, and the stout 
old Trojan her father, to consent to return to the lodge, 
and live there quietly, and under connivance, like 
gentlefolk, instead of lodging in a hut hardly fit to har- 
bour a Tom of Bedlam.' 

'Thou art right: such, indeed, was a great part of my 
object in this visit,' answered Everard. 

' But, perhaps, you also expected to visit there your- 
self, and so keep watch over pretty Mistress Lee — eh?' 



*I never entertained so selfish a thought,' said Ever- 
ard; 'and if this nocturnal disturbance at the mansion 
were explained and ended, I would instantly take my 

* Your friend Noll would expect something more from 
you,' said Wildrake: 'he would expect, in case the 
knight's reputation for loyalty should draw any of our 
poor exiles and wanderers about the lodge, that you 
should be on the watch and ready to snap them. In 
a word, as far as I can understand his long-winded 
speeches, he would have Woodstock a trap, your uncle 
and his pretty daughter the bait of toasted cheese — 
craving your Chloe's pardon for the comparison — you 
the spring-fall which should bar their escape, his lord- 
ship himself being the great grimalkin to whom they 
are to be given over to be devoured.' 

'Dared Cromwell mention this to thee in express 
terms?' said Everard, pulling up his horse and stopping 
in the midst of the road. 

'Nay, not in express terms, which I do not believe he 
ever used in his Hf e ; you might as well expect a drunken 
man to go straight forward; but he insinuated as much 
to me, and indicated that you might deserve well of him 
— gadzo, the damnable proposal sticks in my throat — 
by betraying our noble and rightful King [here he pulled 
ofiE his hat], whom God grant in health and wealth long 
to reign, as the worthy clergyman says, though I fear 
just now his Majesty is both sick and sorry, and never 
a penny in his pouch to boot.' 

'This tallies with what Ahce hinted,' said Everard; 
'but how could she know it? Didst thou give her any 
hint of such a thing? ' 



*I!' replied the Cavalier — 'I, who never saw Mis- 
tress Alice in my life till to-night, and then only for an 
instant — zooks, man, how is that possible? ' 

'True,' replied Everard, and seemed lost in thought. 
At length he spoke — * I should call Cromwell to ac- 
count for his bad opinion of me; for, even though not 
seriously expressed, but, as I am convinced it was, with 
the sole view of proving you, and perhaps myself, it was, 
nevertheless, a misconstruction to be resented.' 

' I '11 carry a cartel for you, with all my heart and soul,' 
said Wildrake ; * and turn out with his godliness's second 
with as good will as I ever drank a glass of sack.' 

'Pshaw,' replied Everard, 'those in his high place 
fight no single combats. But tell me, Roger Wildrake, 
didst thou thyself think me capable of the falsehood and 
treachery impHed in such a message?' 

*I!' exclaimed Wildrake. 'Markham Everard, you 
have been my early friend, my constant benefactor. 
When Colchester was reduced, you saved me from the 
gallows, and since that thou hast twenty times saved 
me from starving. But, by Heaven, if I thought you 
capable of such villainy as your General recommended, 
by yonder blue sky, and all the works of creation which 
it bends over, I would stab you with my own hand.' 

'Death,' replied Everard, 'I should indeed deserve, 
but not from you, perhaps; but fortunately I cannot, if 
I would, be guilty of the treachery you would punish. 
Know, that I had this day secret notice, and from Crom- 
well himself, that the Young Man has escaped by sea 
from Bristol.' 

' Now, God Almighty be blessed, who protected him 
through so many dangers!' exclaimed Wildrake. 'Huzza! 



Up hearts, Cavaliers ! Hey for Cavaliers ! God bless King 
Charles ! Moon and stars, catch my hat ! ' and he threw 
it up as high as he could into the air. The celestial bod- 
ies which he invoked did not receive the present dis- 
patched to them; but, as in the case of Sir Henry Lee's 
scabbard, an old gnarled oak became a second time the 
receptacle of a waif and stray of loyal enthusiasm. Wild- 
rake looked rather foolish at the circumstance, and his 
friend took the opportunity of admonishing him. 

'Art thou not ashamed to bear thee so like a school- 

*Why,' said Wildrake, *I have but sent a Puritan's 
hat upon a loyal errand. I laugh to think how many of 
the schoolboys thou talk'st of will be cheated into climb- 
ing the pollard next year, expecting to find the nest of 
some unknown bird in yonder unmeasured margin of 

*Hush now, for God's sake, and let us speak calmly,' 
said Everard. * Charles has escaped, and I am glad of it. 
I would willingly have seen him on his father's throne by 
composition, but not by the force of the Scottish army 
and the incensed and vengeful Royalists — ' 

'Master Markham Everard — 'began the Cavalier, 
interrupting him. 

'Nay, hush, dear Wildrake,' said Everard; 'let us not 
dispute a point on which we cannot agree, and give me 
leave to go on. I say, since the young man has escaped, 
Cromwell's offensive and injurious stipulation falls to 
the ground; and I see not why my uncle and his family 
should not again enter their own house, under the same 
terms of connivance as many other Royalists. What 
may be incumbent on me is different, nor can I deter- 
87 225 


mine my course until I have an interview with the Gen- 
eral, which, as I think, will end in his confessing that he 
threw in this offensive proposal to sound us both. It is 
much in his manner; for he is blunt, and never sees or 
feels the punctilious honour which the gallants of the 
day stretch to such delicacy.' 

' I '11 acquit him of having any punctilio about him/ 
said Wildrake, ' either touching honour or honesty. Now, 
to come back to where we started. Supposing you were 
not to reside in person at the lodge, and to forbear even 
visiting there, unless on invitation, when such a thing 
can be brought about, I tell you frankly, I think your 
uncle and his daughter might be induced to come back 
to the lodge, and reside there as usual. At least the 
clergyman, that worthy old cock, gave me to hope as 

'He has been hasty in bestowing his confidence,' said 

'True,' replied Wildrake; 'he confided in me at once, 
for he instantly saw my regard for the church. I thank 
Heaven I never passed a clergyman in his canonicals 
without pulHng my hat off; and thou knowest, the most 
desperate duel I ever fought was with young Grayless of 
the Inner Temple, for taking the wall of the Rev. Dr. 
Bunce. Ah, I can gain a chaplain's ear instantly. Gad- 
zooks, they know whom they have to trust to in such a 
one as I.' 

'Dost thou think, then,' said Colonel Everard, 'or 
rather does this clergyman think, that, if they were se- 
cure of intrusion from me, the family would return to the 
lodge, supposing the intruding Commissioners gone, and 
this nocturnal disturbance explained and ended? ' 



'The old knight,' answered Wildrake, ' may be wrought 
upon by the doctor to return, if he is secure against in- 
trusion. As for disturbances, the stout old boy, so far as 
I can learn in two minutes' conversation, laughs at all 
this turmoil as the work of mere imagination, the con- 
sequence of the remorse of their own evil consciences, 
and says that goblin or devil was never heard of at 
Woodstock until it became the residence of such men 
as they who have now usurped the possession.' 

'There is more than imagination in it,' said Everard. 
* I have personal reason to know there is sorrie conspiracy 
carrying on, to render the house untenable by the Com- 
missioners. I acquit my uncle of accession to such a silly 
trick; but I must see it ended ere I can agree to his and 
my cousin's residing where such a confederacy exists; 
for they are Ukely to be considered as the contrivers of 
such pranks, be the actual agent who he may.' 

'With reverence to your better acquaintance with the 
gentleman, Everard, I should rather suspect the old 
father of Puritans — I beg your pardon again — has 
something to do with the business; and if so, Lucifer will 
never look near the true old knight's beard, nor abide a 
glance of yonder maiden's innocent blue eyes. I will 
uphold them as safe as pure gold in a miser's chest.' 

'Saw'st thou aught thyself, which makes thee think 

* Not a quill of the De\irs pinion saw I,' replied Wild- 
rake. ' He supposes himself too secure of an old Cava- 
lier who must steal, hang, or drown in the long-run, so he 
gives himself no trouble to look after the assured booty. 
But I heard the serving-fellows prate of what they had 
seen and heard; and though their tales were confused 



enough, yet if there was any truth among them at all, I 
should say the Devil must have been in the dance. But, 
holla! here comes some one upon us. Stand, friend, who 
art thou?' 

'A poor day-labourer in the great work of England — 
Joseph Tomkins by name — secretary to a godly and 
well-endowed leader in this poor Christian army of 
England, called General Harrison.' 

'What news, Master Tomkins?' said Everard; 'and 
why are you on the road at this late hour? ' 

'I speak to the worthy Colonel Everard, as I judge?' 
said Tomkins; 'and truly I am glad of meeting your 
honour. Heaven knows, I need such assistance as yours. 
Oh, worthy Master Everard, here has been a sounding of 
trumpets, and a breaking of vials, and a pouring forth, 

'Prithee, tell me, in brief, what is the matter — where 
is thy master — and, in a word, what has happened?' 

'My master is close by, parading it in the Httle 
meadow, beside the hugeous oak which is called by the 
name of the late Man; ride but two steps forward, and 
you may see him walking swiftly to and fro, advancing 
all the while the naked weapon.' 

Upon proceeding as directed, but with as little noise 
as possible, they descried a man, whom of course they 
concluded must be Harrison, walking to and fro beneath 
the King's Oak, as a sentinel under arms, but with more 
wildness of demeanour. The tramp of the horses did not 
escape his ear; and they heard him call out, as if at the 
head of the brigade — 'Lower pikes against cavalry; 
here comes Prince Rupert. Stand fast, and you shall 
turn them aside, as a bull would toss a cur-dog. Lower 



your pikes still, my hearts, the end secured against your 
foot — down on your right knee, front rank — spare not 
for the spoiHng of your blue aprons. Ha — Zerobabel — 
ay, that is the word!' 

*In the name of Heaven, about whom or what is he 
talking?' said Everard; 'wherefore does he go about 
with his weapon drawn? ' 

* Truly, sir, when aught disturbs my master. General 
Harrison, he is something rapt in the spirit, and con- 
ceives that he is commanding a reserve of pikes at the 
great battle of Armageddon ; and for his weapon, alack, 
worthy sir, wherefore should he keep Sheffield steel in 
calves' leather, when there are fiends to be combated — 
incarnate fiends on earth, and raging infernal jQends 
under the earth?' 

'This is intolerable,' said Everard. 'Listen to me, 
Tomkins. Thou art not now in the pulpit, and I desire 
none of thy preaching language. I know thou canst 
speak intelligibly when thou art so minded. Remember, 
I may serve or harm thee; and as you hope or fear any- 
thing on my part, answer straightforward. What has 
happened to drive out thy master to the wild wood at 
this time of night?' 

' Forsooth, worthy and honoured sir, I will speak with 
the precision I may. True it is, and of verity, that the 
breath of man, which is in his nostrils, goeth forth and 
returncth — ' 

'Hark you, sir,' said Colonel Everard, 'take care 
where you ramble in your correspondence with me. You 
have heard how, at the great battle of Dunbar in Scot- 
land, the General himself held a pistol to the head of 
Lieutenant Hewcreed, threatening to shoot him through 



the brain if he did not give up holding forth and put his 
squadron in Hne to the front. Take care, sir.' 

* Verily, the lieutenant then charged with an even and 
unbroken order,' said Tomkins, 'and bore a thousand 
plaids and bonnets over the beach before him into the 
sea. Neither shall I pretermit or postpone your honour's 
commands, but speedily obey them, and that without 

' Go to, fellow; thou know'st what I would have,' said 
Everard ; * speak at once — I know thou canst if thou 
wilt. Trusty Tomkins is better known than he thinks 

'Worthy sir,' said Tomkins, in a much less periphras- 
tic style, ' I will obey your worship as far as the spirit will 
permit. Truly, it was not an hour since, when my wor- 
shipful master being at table with Master Bibbet and 
myself, not to mention the worshipful Master Bletson 
and Colonel Desborough, and behold there was a violent 
knocking at the gate, as of one in haste. Now, of a cer- 
tainty, so much had our household been harassed with 
witches and spirits, and other objects of sound and sight, 
that the sentinels could not be brought to abide upon 
their posts without doors, and it was only by provision 
of beef and strong liquors that we were able to maintain 
a guard of three men in the hall, who nevertheless ven- 
tured not to open the door, lest they should be surprised 
with some of the gobhns wherewith their imaginations 
were overwhelmed. And they heard the knocking, 
which increased until it seemed that the door was well- 
nigh about to be beaten down. Worthy Master Bibbet 
was a Httle overcome with liquor (as is his fashion, good 
man, about this time of the evening), not that he is in 



the least given to ebriety, but simply, that since the 
Scottish campaign he hath had a perpetual ague, which 
obUges him so to nourish his frame against the damps of 
the night; wherefore, as it is well known to your honour 
that I discharge the office of a faithful servant, as well to 
Major- General Harrison and the other Commissioners, 
as to my just and lawful master. Colonel Desborough — ' 

*I know all that. And now that thou art trusted by 
both, I pray to Heaven thou mayst merit the trust,' said 
Colonel Everard. 

'And devoutly do I pray,' said Tomkins, 'that your 
worshipful prayers may be answered with favour; for 
certainly to be, and to be called and entitled, Honest Joe 
and Trusty Tomkins is to me more than ever would be 
an earl's title, were such things to be granted anew in 
this regenerated government.' 

'Well, go on — go on; or if thou dalliest much longer, 
I will make bold to dispute the article of your honesty. 
I like short tales, sir, and doubt what is told with a long 
unnecessary train of words.' 

'Well, good sir, be not hasty. As I said before, the 
doors rattled till you would have thought the knocking 
was reiterated in every room of the palace. The bell 
rung out for company, though we could not find that 
any one tolled the clapper, and the guards let off their 
firelocks merely because they knew not what better to 
do. So, Master Bibbet being, as I said, unsusceptible of 
his duty, I went down with my poor rapier to the door, 
and demanded who was there ; and I was answered in a 
voice which, I must say, was much like another voice, 
that it was one wanting Major-General Harrison. So, as 
it was then late, I answered mildly that General Harri- 



son was betaking himself to his rest, and that any who 
wished to speak to him must return on the morrow 
morning, for that, after nightfall, the door of the palace, 
being in the room of a garrison, would be opened to no 
one. So the voice repUed, and bid me open directly, 
without which he would blow the folding-leaves of the 
door into the middle of the hall. And therewithal the 
noise recommenced, that we thought the house would 
have fallen; and I was in some measure constrained to 
open the door, even like a besieged garrison which can 
hold out no longer.' 

'By my honour, and it was stoutly done of you, I 
must say,' said Wildrake, who had been Hstening with 
much interest. 'I am a bold daredevil enough, yet 
when I had two inches of oak plank between the actual 
fiend and me, hang him that would demolish the barrier 
between us, say I. I would as soon, when aboard, bore a 
hole in the ship and let in the waves; for you know we 
always compare the Devil to the deep sea.' 

'Prithee, peace, Wildrake,' said Everard, 'and let him 
go on with his history. Well, and what saw'st thou when 
the door was opened? The great Devil with his horns 
and claws, thou wilt say, no doubt?' 

'No, sir, I will say nothing but what is true. When I 
undid the door, one man stood there, and he, to seeming, 
a man of no extraordinary appearance. He was wrapped 
in a taffeta cloak, of a scarlet colour, and with a red 
lining. He seemed as if he might have been in his time a 
very handsome man, but there was something of pale- 
ness and sorrow in his face; a long love-lock and long 
hair he wore, even after the abomination of the Cava- 
liers, and the unloveliness, as learned Master Prynne 



well termed it, of love-locks; a jewel in his ear; a blue 
scarf over his shoulder, like a military commander for 
the King; and a hat with a white plume, bearing a 
peculiar hatband.' 

* Some unhappy officer of CavaKers, of whom so many 
are in hiding, and seeking shelter through the country/ 
briefly replied Everard. 

'True, worthy sir — right as a judicious exposition. 
But there was something about this man, if he was a 
man, whom I, for one, could not look upon without trem- 
bling; nor the musketeers who were in the hall, without 
betraying much alarm, and swallowing, as they them- 
selves will aver, the very bullets which they had in their 
mouths for loading their carabines and muskets. Nay, 
the wolf and deer-dogs, that are the fiercest of their kind, 
fled from this visitor, and crept into holes and corners, 
moaning and wailing in a low and broken tone. He 
came into the middle of the hall, and still he seemed no 
more than an ordinary man, only somewhat fantastic- 
ally dressed, in a doublet of black velvet pinked upon 
scarlet satin under his cloak, a jewel in his ear, with 
large roses in his shoes, and a kerchief in his hand, which 
he sometimes pressed against his left side.' 

* Gracious Heaven ! ' said Wildrake, coming close up to 
Everard, and whispering in his ear, with accents which 
terror rendered tremulous (a mood of mind most un- 
usual to the daring man who seemed now overcome by 
it), 'it must have been poor Dick Robison the player, in 
the very dress in which I have seen him play Philaster — 
ay, and drunk a jolly bottle with him after it at the Mer- 
maid! I remember how many frolics we had together, 
and all his Uttle fantastic fashions. He served for his old 



master, Charles, in Mohun's troop, and was murdered 
by this butcher's dog, as I have heard, after surrender, 
at the battle of Naseby field.' 

'Hush! I have heard of the deed,' said Everard; 'for 
God's sake hear the man to an end. Did this visitor 
speak to thee, my friend? ' 

'Yes, sir, in a pleasing tone of voice, but somewhat 
fanciful in the articulation, and like one who is speaking 
to an audience as from a bar or a pulpit, more than in 
the voice of ordinary men on ordinary matters. He 
desired to see Major-General Harrison.' 

'He did! and you,' said Everard, infected by the spirit 
of the time, which, as is well known, leaned to credulity 
upon all matters of supernatural agency — ' what did 
you do?' 

'I went up to the parlour and related that such a per- 
son inquired for him. He started when I told him, and 
eagerly desired to know the man's dress; but no sooner 
did I mention his dress, and the jewel in his ear, than he 
said, " Begone ! tell him I will not admit him to speech of 
me. Say that I defy him, and will make my defiance 
good at the great battle in the valley of Armageddon, 
when the voice of the angel shall call all fowls which fly 
under the face of heaven to feed on the flesh of the cap- 
tain and the soldier, the war-horse and his rider. Say to 
the Evil One, I have power to appeal our conflict even 
till that day, and that in the front of that fearful day he 
will again meet with Harrison." I went back with this 
answer to the stranger, and his face was writhed into 
such a deadly frown as a mere human brow hath seldom 
worn. "Return to him," he said, " and say it is my hour ; 
and that if he come not instantly down to speak with me, 



I will mount the stairs to him. Say that I command him 
to descend, by the token, that on the field of Naseby, 
he did not the work negligently.'" 

' I have heard,' whispered Wildrake, who felt more and 
more strongly the contagion of superstition, * that these 
words were blasphemously used by Harrison when he 
shot my poor friend Dick.' 

' What happened next? ' said Everard. * See that thou 
speakest the truth ! ' 

'As gospel unexpounded by a steeple-man,' said the 
Independent; 'yet truly it is but httle I have to say. I 
saw my master come down, with a blank yet resolved 
air; and when he entered the hall and saw the stranger, 
he made a pause. The other waved him on as if to fol- 
low, and walked out at the portal. My worthy patron 
seemed as if he were about to follow, yet again paused, 
when this visitant, be he man or fiend, reentered and 
said, " Obey thy doom. 

"By pathless march, by greenwood tree, 
It is thy weird to follow me — 
To follow me through the ghastly moonlight — 
To follow me through the shadows of night — 
To follow me, comrade, still art thou bound. 
I conjure thee by the unstanched wound — 
I conjure thee by the last words I spoke, 
When the body slept and the spirit awoke, 
In the very last pangs of the deadly stroke!" 

So saying, he stalked out, and my master followed him 
into the wood. I followed also at a distance. But when I 
came up, my master was alone, and bearing himself as 
you now behold him.' 

'Thou hast had a wonderful memory, friend,' said the 
colonel, coldly, 'to remember these rh}Tnes in a single 



recitation: there seems something of practice in all 

*A single recitation, my honoured sir!' exclaimed the 
Independent. 'Alack, the rhyme is seldom out of my 
poor master's mouth, when, as sometimes haps, he is less 
triumphant in his wrestles with Satan. But it was the 
first time I ever heard it uttered by another; and, to say 
truth, he ever seems to repeat it unwillingly, as a child 
after his pedagogue, and as it was not indited by his own 
head, as the Psalmist saith.' 

*It is singular,' said Everard. 'I have heard and read 
that the spirits of the slaughtered have strange power 
over the slayer; but I am astonished to have it insisted 
upon that there may be truth in such tales. Roger Wild- 
rake — what art thou afraid of, man? why dost thou 
shift thy place thus? ' 

' Fear ! it is not fear — it is hate, deadly hate. I see the 
murderer of poor Dick before me, and — see, he throws 
himself into a posture of fence. Sa — sa — sayst thou, 
brood of a butcher's mastiff? thou shalt not want an 

Ere any one could stop him, Wildrake threw aside his 
cloak, drew his sword, and almost with a single bound 
cleared the distance betwixt him and Harrison, and 
crossed swords with the latter, as he stood brandishing 
his weapon, as if in immediate expectation of an assail- 
ant. Accordingly, the republican general was not for an 
instant taken at unawares, but the moment the swords 
clashed, he shouted, 'Ha! I feel thee now, thou hast 
come in body at last. Welcome — welcome ! The sword 
of the Lord and of Gideon ! ' 

'Part them — part them,' cried Everard, as he and 


Tomkins, at first astonished at the suddenness of the 
affray, hastened to interfere. Everard, seizing on the 
Cavalier, drew him forcibly backwards, and Tomkins 
contrived, with risk and difficulty, to master Harrison's 
sword, while the general exclaimed, *Ha! two to one — 
two to one! thus fight demons.' 

Wildrake, on his side, swore a dreadful oath, and 
added: 'Markham, you have cancelled every obligation 
I owed you : they are all out of sight — gone, d — n me ! ' 

'You have indeed acquitted these obligations rarely,' 
said Everard. 'Who knows how this affair shall be 
explained and answered? ' 

*I will answer it with my life,' said Wildrake. 

* Good now, be silent,' said Tomkins, * and let me man- 
age. It shall be so ordered that the good general shall 
never know that he hath encountered with a mortal man ; 
only let that man of Moab put his sword into the scab- 
bard's rest and be still.' 

'Wildrake, let me entreat thee to sheathe thy sword,' 
said Everard, ' else, on my life, thou must turn it against 

'No, 'fore George, not so mad as that neither; but I '11 
have another day with him.' 

'Thou, another day!' exclaimed Harrison, whose eye 
had still remained fixed on the spot where he found such 
palpable resistance. 'Yes, I know thee well; day by day, 
week by week, thou makest the same idle request, for 
thou know'st that my heart quivers at thy voice. But 
my hand trembles not when opposed to thine: the spirit 
is willing to the combat, if the flesh be weak when op- 
posed to that which is not of the flesh.' 

'Now, peace all, for Heaven's sake,' said the steward 



Tomkins; then added, addressing his master, 'There is 
no one here, if it please your Excellency, but Tomkins 
and the worthy Colonel Everard,' 

General Harrison, as sometimes happens in cases of 
partial insanity (that is, supposing his to have been a 
case of mental delusion), though firmly and entirely 
persuaded of the truth of his own visions, yet was not 
willing to speak on the subject to those who, he knew, 
would regard them as imaginary. Upon this occasion, 
he assumed the appearance of perfect ease and compos- 
ure, after the violent agitation he had just manifested, 
in a manner which showed how anxious he was to dis- 
guise his real feelings from Everard, whom he considered 
as unlikely to participate them. 

He saluted the colonel with profound ceremony, and 
talked of the fineness of the evening, which had sum- 
moned him forth of the lodge, to take a turn in the park 
and enjoy the favourable weather. He then took Ever- 
ard by the arm, and walked back with him towards the 
lodge, Wildrake and Tomkins following close behind and 
leading the horses. Everard, desirous to gain some hght 
on these mysterious incidents, endeavoured to come on 
the subject more than once, by a mode of interrogation 
which Harrison (for madmen are very often unwilling 
to enter on the subject of their mental delusion) parried 
with some skill, or addressed himself for aid to his stew- 
ard Tomkins, who was in the habit of being voucher for 
his master upon all occasions, which led to Desborough's 
ingenious nickname of Fibbet. 

'And wherefore had you your sword drawn, my wor- 
thy general,' said Everard, 'when you were only on an 
evening walk of pleasure? ' 



'Truly, excellent colonel, these are times when men 
must watch with their loins girded, and their lights 
burning, and their weapons drawn. The day draweth 
nigh, believe me or not as you will, that men must watch 
lest they be found naked and unarmed, when the seven 
trumpets shall sound, "Boot and saddle"; and the pipes 
of Jezer shall strike up, "Horse and away.'" 

* True, good general ; but methought I saw you making 
passes even now as if you were fighting? ' said Everard. 

*I am of a strange fantasy, friend Everard,' answered 
Harrison; 'and when I walk alone, and happen, as but 
now, to have my weapon drawn, I sometimes, for exer- 
cise' sake, will practise a thrust against such a tree as 
that. It is a silly pride men have in the use of weapons. 
I have been accounted a master of fence, and have 
fought prizes when I was unregenerated, and before I 
was called to do my part in the great work, entering as 
a trooper into our victorious general's first regiment of 

'But methought,' said Everard, *I heard a weapon 
clash with yours? ' 

'How! a weapon clash with my sword? How could 
that be, Tomkins? ' 

'Truly, sir,' said Tomkins, 'it must have been a bough 
of the tree; they have them of all kinds here, and your 
honour may have pushed against one of them which the 
Brazilians call iron-wood, a block of which, being struck 
with a hammer, saith Purchas in his "Pilgrimage," 
ringeth like an anvil.' 

'Truly, it may be so,' said Harrison; 'for those rulers 
who are gone assembled in this their abode of pleasure 
many strange trees and plants, though they gathered 



not of the fruit of that tree which beareth twelve manner 
of fruits, or of those leaves which are for the heaUng of 

Everard pursued his investigation; for he was struck 
with the manner in which Harrison evaded his ques- 
tions, and the dexterity with which he threw his trans- 
cendental and fanatical notions, like a sort of veil, over 
the darker visions excited by remorse and conscious 

*But,' said he, 'if I may trust my eyes and ears, I 
cannot but still think that you had a real antagonist. 
Nay, I am sure I saw a fellow, in a dark-coloured jerkin, 
retreat through the wood.' 

'Did you?' said Harrison, with a tone of surprise, 
while his voice faltered in spite of him. 'Who could he 
be? Tomkins, did you see the fellow Colonel Everard 
talks of with the napkin in his hand — the bloody napkin 
which he always pressed to his side? ' 

This last expression, in which Harrison gave a mark 
different from that which Everard had assigned, but 
corresponding to Tomkins's original description of the 
supposed spectre, had more effect on Everard in con- 
firming the steward's story than anything he had wit- 
nessed or heard. The voucher answered the draft upon 
him as promptly as usual, that he had seen such a fellow 
glide past them into the thicket; that he dared to say 
he was some deer-stealer, for he had heard they were 
become very audacious. 

• 'Look ye there now, Master Everard,' said Harrison, 
hurrying from the subject. ' Is it not time now that we 
should lay aside our controversies, and join hand in hand 
to repairing the breaches of our Zion? Happy and con- 



tented were I, my excellent friend, to be a treader of 
mortar, or a bearer of a hod, upon this occasion, under 
our great leader, with whom Providence has gone forth 
in this great national controversy; and truly, so devoutly 
do I hold by our excellent and victorious General Oliver 
— whom Heaven long preserve ! — that were he to 
command me, I should not scruple to pluck forth of his 
high place the man whom they call Speaker, even as I 
lent a poor hand to pluck down the man whom they 
called King. Wherefore, as I know your judgment 
holdeth with mine on this matter, let me urge unto you 
lovingly, that we may act as brethren, and build up the 
breaches and reestablish the bulwarks of our English 
Zion, whereby we shall be doubtless chosen as pillars and 
buttresses, under our excellent Lord General, for sup- 
porting and sustaining the same, and endowed with 
proper revenues and incomes, both spiritual and temp- 
oral, to serve as a pedestal on which we may stand, 
seeing that otherwise our foundation will be on the loose 
sand. Nevertheless,' continued he, his mind again di- 
verging from his views of temporal ambition into his 
visions of the Fifth Monarchy, Hhese things are but 
vanity in respect of the opening of the book which is 
sealed; for all things approach speedily towards light- 
ning and thundering, and unloosing of the great dragon 
from the bottomless pit, wherein he is chained.' 

With this mingled strain of earthly politics and fana- 
tical prediction, Harrison so overpowered Colonel 
Everard as to leave him no time to urge him further on 
the particular circumstances of his nocturnal skirmish, 
concerning which it is plain he had no desire to be in- 
terrogated. They now reached the lodge of Woodstock. 



Now the wasted brands do glow, 

Whilst the screech-owl, screeching loud, 
Puts the wretch that lies in woe, 

In remembrance of a shroud. 
Now it is the time of night 

That the graves, all gaping wide, 
Every one lets forth his sprite. 

In the church-way paths to glide. 

Midsummer Night's Dream. 

Before the gate of the palace the guards were now 
doubled. Everard demanded the reason of this from the 
corporal, whom he found in the hall with his soldiers, 
sitting or sleeping around a great fire, maintained at the 
expense of the carved chairs and benches, with frag- 
ments of which it was furnished. 

'Why, verily,' answered the man, 'the corps de garde, 
as your worship says, will be harassed to pieces by such 
duty; nevertheless, fear hath gone abroad among us, 
and no man will mount guard alone. We have drawn 
in, however, one or two of our outposts from Banbury 
and elsewhere, and we are to have a relief from Oxford 

Everard continued minute inquiries concerning the 
sentinels that were posted within as well as without the 
lodge; and found that, as they had been stationed under 
the eye of Harrison himself, the rules of prudent dis- 
cipline had been exactly observed in the distribution 
of the posts. There remained nothing, therefore, for 
Colonel Everard to do but, remembering his own ad- 
venture of the evening, to recommend that an additional 



sentinel should be placed, with a companion, if judged 
indispensable, in that vestibule, or ante-room, from 
which the long gallery where he had met with the ren- 
contre and other suites of apartments diverged. The 
corporal respectfully promised all obedience to his or- 
ders. The serving-men, being called, appeared also in 
double force. Everard demanded to know whether the 
Commissioners had gone to bed, or whether he could 
get speech with them. 

'They are in their bedroom, forsooth,' rephed one of 
the fellows; 'but I think they be not yet undressed.' 

'What!' said Everard, 'are Colonel Desborough and 
Master Bletson both in the same sleeping-apartment?' 

'Their honours have so chosen it,' said the man; 'and 
their honours' secretaries remain upon guard all night.' 

'It is the fashion to double guards all over the house,' 
said Wildrake. 'Had I a ghmpse of a tolerably good- 
looking housemaid now, I should know how to fall into 
the fashion.' 

'Peace, fool!' said Everard. 'And where are the 
Mayor and Master Holdenough? ' 

* The Mayor is returned to the borough on horseback, 
behind the trooper who goes to Oxford for the reinforce- 
ment; and the man of the steeple-house hath quartered 
himself in the chamber which Colonel Desborough had 
last night, being that in which he is most Hkely to meet 
the — your honour understands. The Lord pity us, we 
are a harassed family.' 

'And where be General Harrison's knaves,' said Tom- 
kins, ' that they do not marshal him to his apartment? ' 

'Here — here — here, Master Tomkins,' said three 
fellows, pressing forward, with the same consternation 



on their faces which seemed to pervade the whole in- 
habitants of Woodstock. 

'Away with you, then,' said Tomkins. 'Speak not to 
his worship; you see he is not in the humour.' 

'Indeed,' observed Colonel Everard, 'he looks singu- 
larly wan; his features seem writhen as by a palsy 
stroke; and though he was talking so fast while we came 
along, he hath not opened his mouth since we came to 
the light.' 

' It is his manner after such visitations,' said Tomkins. 
* Give his honour your arms, Zedekiah and Jonathan, to 
lead him off. I will follow instantly. You, Nicodemus, 
tarry to wait upon me: it is not well walking alone in 
this mansion.' 

'Master Tomkins,' said Everard, 'I have heard of you 
often as a sharp, intelligent man; tell me fairly, are you 
in earnest afraid of anything supernatural haunting this 
house? ' 

'I would be loth to run the chance, sir,' said Tomkins, 
very gravely ; ' by looking on my worshipful master, you 
may form a guess how the Hving look after they have 
spoken with the dead.' He bowed low, and took his 

Everard proceeded to the chamber which the two re- 
maining Commissioners had, for comfort's sake, chosen 
to inhabit in company. They were preparing for bed as 
he went into their apartment. Both started as the door 
opened; both rejoiced when they saw it was only 
Everard who entered. 

'Hark ye hither,' said Bletson, pulling him aside, 
'saw'st thou ever ass equal to Desborough? The fellow 
is as big as an ox and as timorous as a sheep: he has 



insisted on my sleeping here to protect him. Shall we 
have a merry night on't, ha? We will, if thou wilt take 
the third bed, which was prepared for Harrison; but he 
is gone out, like a moon-calf, to look for the valley of 
Armageddon in the park of Woodstock.' 

'General Harrison has returned with me but now,' 
said Everard. 

* Nay but, as I shall live, he comes not into our apart- 
ment,' said Desborough, overhearing his answer. *No 
man that has been supping, for aught I know, with the 
Devil has a right to sleep among Christian folk.' 

'He does not propose so,' said Everard: *he sleeps, as I 
understand, apart — and alone.' 

'Not quite alone, I dare say,' said Desborough, 'for 
Harrison hath a sort of attraction for goblins: they fly 
round him Hke moths about a candle. But, I prithee, 
good Everard, do thou stay with us. I know not how it 
is, but although thou hast not thy rehgion always in thy 
mouth, nor speakest many hard words about it, Hke 
Harrison, nor makest long preachments, like a certain 
most honourable relation of mine who shall be nameless, 
yet somehow I feel myself safer in thy company than 
with any of them. As for this Bletson, he is such a mere 
blasphemer, that I fear the Devil will carry him away 
ere morning.' 

'Did you ever hear such a paltry coward?' said Blet- 
son apart to Everard. 'Do tarry, however, mine hon- 
oured colonel. I know your zeal to assist the distressed, 
and you see Desborough is in that predicament, that he 
will require near him more than one good example to 
prevent him thinking of ghosts and fiends.' 

'I am sorry I cannot oblige you, gentlemen,' said 



Everard; 'but I have settled my mind to sleep in Victor 
Lee's apartment, so I wish you good-night; and, if you 
would repose without disturbance, I would advise that 
you commend yourselves, during the watches of the 
night, to Him unto whom night is even as midday. I 
had intended to have spoke with you this evening on the 
subject of my being here; but I will defer the conference 
till to-morrow, when, I think, I will be able to show you 
excellent reasons for leaving Woodstock.' 

* We have seen plenty such already,' said Desborough. 
'For one, I came here to serve the estate, with some 
moderate advantage doubtless to myself for my trouble; 
but if I am set upon my head again to-night, as I was 
the night before, I would not stay longer to gain a king's 
crown, for I am sure my neck would be unfitted to bear 
the weight of it.' 

'Good-night,' exclaimed Everard, and was about to 
go, when Bletson again pressed close, and whispered to 
him, 'Hark thee, colonel, you know my friendship for 
thee — I do implore thee to leave the door of thy apart- 
ment open, that, if thou meetest with any disturbance, 
I may hear thee call, and be with thee upon the very 
instant. Do this, dear Everard — my fears for thee will 
keep me awake else; for I know that, notwithstanding 
your excellent sense, you entertain some of those super- 
stitious ideas which we suck in with our mother's milk, 
and which constitute the ground of our fears in situa- 
tions like the present; therefore, leave thy door open, if 
you love me, that you may have ready assistance from 
me in case of need.' 

'My master,' said Wildrake, 'trusts, first, in his Bible, 
sir, and then in his good sword. He has no idea that the 



Devil can be baffled by the charm of two men lying in 
one room, still less that the Foul Fiend can be argued 
out of existence by the nullifidians of the Rota.' 

Everard seized his imprudent friend by the collar, and 
dragged him off as he was speaking, keeping fast hold of 
him till they were both in the chamber of Victor Lee, 
where they had slept on a former occasion. Even then 
he continued to hold Wildrake, until the servant had 
arranged the lights and was dismissed from the room; 
then letting him go, addressed him with the upbraiding 
question, 'Art thou not a prudent and sagacious person, 
who in times like these seek'st every opportunity to 
argue yourself into a broil, or embroil yourself in an 
argument? Out on you!' 

'Ay, out on me, indeed,' said the Cavalier — 'out on 
me for a poor tame-spirited creature, that submits to be 
bandied about in this manner by a man who is neither 
better born nor better bred than myself. I tell thee, 
Mark, you make an unfair use of your advantages over 
me. Why will you not let me go from you, and live and 
die after my own fashion? ' 

'Because, before we had been a week separate, I 
should hear of your dying after the fashion of a dog. 
Come, my good friend, what madness was it in thee to 
fall foul on Harrison, and then to enter into useless 
argument with Bletson?' 

'Why, we are in the Devil's house, I think, and I 
would willingly give the landlord his due wherever I 
travel. To have sent him Harrison, or Bletson now, just 
as a lunch to stop his appetite, till Crom — ' 

'Hush! stone walls have ears,' said Everard, looking 
around him. 'Here stands thy night-drink. Look to thy 



arms, for we must be as careful as if the Avenger of 
Blood were behind us. Yonder is thy bed; and I, as 
thou seest, have one prepared in the parlour. The door 
only divides us.' 

'Which I will leave open, in case thou shouldst 
holla for assistance, as yonder nulHfidian hath it. But 
how hast thou got all this so well put in order, good 

' I gave the steward Tomkins notice of my purpose to 
sleep here.' 

'A strange fellow that,' said Wildrake, 'and, as I 
judge, has taken measure of every one's foot : all seems 
to pass through his hands.' 

'He is, I have understood,' replied Everard, 'one of 
the men formed by the times — has a ready gift of 
preaching and expounding, which keeps him in high 
terms with the Independents, and recommends liimself 
to the more moderate people by his intelligence and 

'Has his sincerity ever been doubted?' said Wildrake. 

'Never that I heard of,' said the colonel; 'on the con- 
trary, he has been familiarly called Honest Joe and 
Trusty Tomkins. For my part, I believe his sincerity 
has always kept pace with his interest. But come, 
finish thy cup, and to bed. What, all emptied at one 
draught? ' 

'Adzookers, yes — my vow forbids me to make two 
on't; but, never fear, the nightcap will only warm my 
brain, not clog it. So, man or devil, give me notice if you 
are disturbed, and rely on me in a twinkling.' So saying, 
the Cavalier retreated into his separate apartment ; and 
Colonel Everard, taking off the most cumbrous part of 



his dress, lay down in his hose and doublet, and com- 
posed himself to rest. 

He was awakened from sleep by a slow and solemn 
strain of music, which died away as at a distance. He 
started up, and felt for his arms, which he found close 
beside him. His temporary bed being without curtains, 
he could look around him without difficulty; but as there 
remained in the chimney only a few red embers of the 
fire, which he had arranged before he went to sleep, 
it was impossible he could discern anything. He felt, 
therefore, in spite of his natural courage, that undefined 
and thrilling species of tremor which attends a sense that 
danger is near, and an uncertainty concerning its cause 
and character. Reluctant as he was to yield belief to 
supernatural occurrences, we have already said he was 
not absolutely incredulous; as perhaps, even in this more 
sceptical age, there are many fewer complete and abso- 
lute infidels on this particular than give themselves out 
for such. Uncertain whether he had not dreamed of 
these sounds which seemed yet in his ears, he was un- 
willing to risk the raillery of his friend by summoning 
him to his assistance. He sat up, therefore, in his bed, 
not without experiencing that nervous agitation to which 
brave men as well as cowards are subject; with this dif- 
ference, that the one sinks under it like the vine under the 
hail-storm, and the other collects his energies to shake it 
ofif, as the cedar of Lebanon is said to elevate its boughs 
to disperse the snow which accumulates upon them. 

The story of Harrison, in his own absolute despite, 
and notwithstanding a secret suspicion which he had of 
trick or connivance, returned on his mind at this dead 
and solitary hour. Harrison, he remembered, had de- 



scribed the vision by a circumstance of its appearance 
different from that which his own remark had been cal- 
culated to suggest to the mind of the visionary: that 
bloody napkin, always pressed to the side, was then a 
circumstance present either to his bodily eye or to that 
of his agitated imagination. Did, then, the murdered 
revisit the living haunts of those who had forced them 
from the stage with all their sins unaccounted for? And 
if they did, might not the same permission authorise 
other visitations of a similar nature — to warn, to in- 
struct, to punish? 'Rash are they,' was his conclusion, 
'and credulous, who receive as truth every tale of the 
kind; but no less rash may it be to hmit the power of the 
Creator over the works which He has made, and to 
suppose that, by the permission of the Author of Nature, 
the laws of nature may not, in peculiar cases and for 
high purposes, be temporarily suspended.' 

While these thoughts passed through Everard's mind, 
feelings unknown to him, even when he stood first on the 
rough and perilous edge of battle, gained ground upon 
him. He feared he knew not what; and where an open 
and discernible peril would have drawn out his courage, 
the absolute uncertainty of his situation increased his 
sense of the danger. He felt an almost irresistible desire 
to spring from his bed and heap fuel on the dying em- 
bers, expecting by the blaze to see some strange sight in 
his chamber. He was also strongly tempted to awaken 
Wildrake; but shame, stronger than fear itself, checked 
these impulses. What! should it be thought that Mark- 
ham Everard, held one of the best soldiers who had 
drawn a sword in this sad war — Markham Everard, 
who had obtained such distinguished rank in the army 



of the Parliament, though so young in years, was afraid 
of remaining by himself in a twilight-room at midnight? 
It never should be said. 

This was, however, no charm for his unpleasant cur- 
rent of thought. There rushed on his mind the various 
traditions of Victor Lee's chamber, which, though he had 
often despised them as vague, unauthenticated, and in- 
consistent rumours, engendered by ancient superstition, 
and transmitted from generation to generation by lo- 
quacious credulity, had yet something in them which 
did not tend to allay the present unpleasant state of his 
nerves. Then, when he recollected the events of that 
very afternoon — the weapon pressed against his throat, 
and the strong arm which threw him backward on the 
floor — if the remembrance served to contradict the idea 
of flitting phantoms and unreal daggers, it certainly in- 
duced him to believe that there was in some part of this 
extensive mansion a party of Cavaliers, or Malignants, 
harboured, who might arise in the night, overpower the 
guards, and execute upon them all, but on Harrison in 
particular, as one of the regicide judges, that vengeance 
which was so eagerly thirsted for by the attached fol- 
lowers of the slaughtered monarch. 

He endeavoured to console himself on this subject by 
the number and position of the guards, yet still was dis- 
satisfied with himself for not having taken yet more 
exact precautions, and for keeping an extorted promise 
of silence which might consign so many of his party to 
the danger of assassination. These thoughts, connected 
with his military duties, awakened another train of re- 
flections. He bethought liimself , that all he could now 
do was to visit the sentries and ascertain that they were 



awake, alert, on the watch, and so situated that in time 
of need they might be ready to support each other. ' This 
better befits me,' he thought, ' than to be here Hke a child, 
frightening myself with the old woman's legend which 
I have laughed at when a boy. What although old Victor 
Lee was a sacrilegious man, as common report goes, and 
brewed ale in the font which he brought from the an- 
cient palace of Holyrood, while church and building were 
in flames? And what although his eldest son was when 
a child scalded to death in the same vessel? How many 
churches have been demolished since his time? How 
many fonts desecrated? So many, indeed, that, were the 
vengeance of Heaven to visit such aggressions in a super- 
natural manner, no corner in England, no, not the most 
petty parish church, but would have its apparition. 
Tush, these are idle fancies, unworthy, especially, to be 
entertained by those educated to believe that sanctity 
resides in the intention and the act, not in the buildings 
or fonts, or the form of worship.' 

As thus he called together the articles of his Calvin- 
istic creed, the bell of the great clock (a token seldom 
silent in such narratives) tolled three, and was immedi- 
ately followed by the hoarse call of the sentinels through 
vault and gallery, upstairs and beneath, challenging and 
answering each other with the usual watchword, 'All 's 
well.' Their voices mingled with the deep boom of the 
bell, yet ceased before that was silent, and when they 
had died away, the tingling echo of the prolonged knell 
was scarcely audible. Ere yet that last distant tingling 
had finally subsided into silence, it seemed as if it again 
was awakened; and Everard could hardly judge at first 
whether a new echo had taken up the falling cadence, or 



whether some other and separate sound was disturbing 
anew the silence to which the deep knell had, as its 
voice ceased, consigned the ancient mansion and the 
woods around it. 

But the doubt was soon cleared up. The musical 
tones, which had mingled with the dying echoes of the 
knell, seemed at first to prolong, and afterwards to sur- 
vive, them. A wild strain of melody, beginning at a dis- 
tance, and growing louder as it advanced, seemed to 
pass from room to room, from cabinet to gallery, from 
hall to bower, through the deserted and dishonoured 
ruins of the ancient residence of so many sovereigns; 
and, as it approached, no soldier gave alarm, nor did any 
of the numerous guests of various degrees who spent 
an unpleasant and terrified night in that ancient man- 
sion seem to dare to announce to each other the inex- 
plicable cause of apprehension. 

Everard's excited state of mind did not permit him to 
be so passive. The sounds approached so nigh, that it 
seemed they were performing in the very next apart- 
ment a solemn service for the dead, when he gave the 
alarm, by calling loudly to his trusty attendant and 
friend Wildrake, who slumbered in the next chamber 
with only a door betwixt them, and even that ajar. 

'Wildrake — Wildrake! Up — up! Dost thou not 
hear the alarm?' 

There was no answer from Wildrake, though the musi- 
cal sounds, which now rung through the apartment as 
if the performers had actually been within its precincts, 
would have been sufficient to awaken a sleeping person, 
even without the shout of his comrade and patron. 

'Alarm, Roger Wildrake — alarm! ' again called Ever- 



ard, getting out of bed and grasping his weapons. * Get 
a light, and cry alarm!' 

There was no answer. His voice died away as the 
sound of the music seemed also to die; and the same soft 
sweet voice, which still to his thinking resembled that 
of Alice Lee, was heard in his apartment, and, as he 
thought, at no distance from him. 

'Your comrade will not answer,' said the low soft 
voice. 'Those only hear the alarm whose consciences 
feel the call.' 

'Again this mummery!' said Everard. 'I am better 
armed than I was of late; and but for the sound of that 
voice, the speaker had bought his trifling dear.' 

It was singular, we may observe in passing, that the 
instant the distinct sounds of the human voice were 
heard by Everard, all idea of supernatural interference 
was at an end, and the charm by which he had been 
formerly fettered appeared to be broken ; so much is the 
influence of imaginary or superstitious terror dependent 
(so far as respects strong judgments at least), upon what 
is vague or ambiguous ; and so readily do distinct tones 
and express ideas bring such judgments back to the 
current of ordinary hfe. 

The voice returned answer, as addressing his thoughts 
as well as his words. 'We laugh at the weapons thou 
thinkest should terrify us. Over the guardians of Wood- 
stock they have no power. Fire, if thou wilt, and try the 
effect of thy weapons. But know, it is not our purpose 
to harm thee: thou art of a falcon breed, and noble in 
thy disposition, though, unreclaimed and ill nurtured, 
thou hauntest with kites and carrion crows. Wing thy 
flight from hence on the morrow, for, if thou tarriest 



with the bats, owls, vultures, and ravens which have 
thought to nestle here, thou wilt inevitably share their 
fate. Away, then, that these halls may be swept and gar- 
nished for the reception of those who have a better right 
to inhabit them.' 

Everard answered in a raised voice. * Once more I warn 
you, think not to defy me in vain. I am no child to be 
frightened by goblins' tales, and no coward, armed as I 
am, to be alarmed at the threats of banditti. If I give 
you a moment's indulgence, it is for the sake of dear and 
misguided friends, who may be concerned with this 
dangerous gambol. Know, I can bring a troop of soldiers 
round the castle, who will search its most inward recesses 
for the author of this audacious frolic ; and if that search 
should fail, it will cost but a few barrels of gunpowder 
to make the mansion a heap of ruins, and bury under 
them the authors of such an ill-judged pastime.' 

'You speak proudly, sir colonel,' said another voice, 
similar to that harsher and stronger tone by which he 
had been addressed in the gallery ; * try your courage in 
this direction.' 

'You should not dare me twice,' said Colonel Ever- 
ard, 'had I a gHmpse of light to take aim by.' 

As he spoke, a sudden gleam of light was thrown with 
a brilhancy which almost dazzled the speaker, showing 
distinctly a form somewhat resembling that of Victor 
Lee, as represented in his picture, holding in one hand 
a lady completely veiled, and in the other his leading- 
staff or truncheon. Both figures were animated, and, as 
it appeared, standing within six feet of him. 

'Were it not for the woman,' said Everard, 'I would 
not be thus mortally dared.' 



'Spare not for the female form, but do your worst,' 
replied the same voice. 'I defy you.' 

'Repeat your defiance when I have counted thrice,' 
said Everard, 'and take the punishment of your inso- 
lence. Once — I have cocked my pistol. Twice — I never 
missed my aim. By all that is sacred, I fire if you do not 
withdraw. When I pronounce the next number, I will 
shoot you dead where you stand. I am yet unwilling to 
shed blood : I give you another chance of flight, once — 

twice — THRICE ! ' 

Everard aimed at the bosom, and discharged his pis- 
tol. The figure waved its arm in an attitude of scorn: 
and a loud laugh arose, during which the light, as gradu- 
ally growing weaker, danced and glimmered upon the 
apparition of the aged knight, and then disappeared. 
Everard's life-blood ran cold in his heart. ' Had he been 
of human mould,' he thought, 'the bullet must have 
pierced him, but I have neither will nor power to fight 
with supernatural beings.' 

The feeling of oppression was now so strong as to be 
actually sickening. He groped his way, however, to the 
fireside, and flung on the embers, which were yet gleam- 
ing, a handful of dry fuel. It presently blazed, and af- 
forded him light to see the room in every direction. 
He looked cautiously, almost timidly, around, and half 
expected some horrible phantom to become visible. But 
he saw nothing save the old furniture, the reading-desk, 
and other articles, which had been left in the same state 
as when Sir Henry Lee departed. He felt an imcontrol- 
lable desire, mingled with much repugnance, to look at 
the portrait of the ancient knight, which the form he 
had seen so strongly resembled. He hesitated betwixt 



the opposing feelings, but at length snatched, with des- 
perate resolution, the taper which he had extinguished, 
and relighted it, ere the blaze of the fuel had again died 
away. He held it up to the ancient portrait of Victor 
Lee, and gazed on it with eager curiosity, not unmingled 
with fear. Almost the childish terrors of his earlier days 
returned, and he thought the severe pale eye of the an- 
cient warrior followed his, and menaced him with its 
displeasure. And although he quickly argued himself 
out of such an absurd behef, yet the mixed feehngs of 
his mind were expressed in words that seemed half ad- 
dressed to the ancient portrait. 

'Soul of my mother's ancestor,' he said, 'be it for 
weal or for woe, by designing men or by supernatural 
beings, that these ancient halls are disturbed, I am re- 
solved to leave them on the morrow.' 

*I rejoice to hear it, with all my soul,' said a voice 
behind him. 

He turned, saw a tall figure in white, with a sort of 
turban upon its head, and dropping the candle in the 
exertion, instantly grappled with it. 

' Thou at least are palpable,' he said. 

* Palpable ! ' answered he whom he grasped so strongly. 
' 'Sdeath, methinks you might know that without the 
risk of choking me; and if you loose me not, I '11 show 
you that two can play at the game of wrestling.' 

'Roger Wildrake!' said Everard, letting the CavaHer 
loose, and stepping back. 

'Roger Wildrake? ay, truly. Did you take me for 
Roger Bacon, come to help you to raise the Devil, for 
the place smells of sulphur consumed^? ' 

'It is the pistol I fired. Did you not hear it?' 

87 257 


'Why, yes, it was the first thing waked me, for 
that nightcap which I pulled on made me sleep like 
a dormouse. Pshaw, I feel my brains giddy with it 

'And wherefore came you not on the instant? I never 
needed help more.' 

*I came as fast as I could,' answered Wildrake; 'but 
it was some time ere I got my senses collected, for I was 
dreaming of that cursed field at Naseby; and then the 
door of my room was shut, and hard to open, till I played 
the locksmith with my foot.' 

'How! it was open when I went to bed,' said Everard. 

'It was locked when I came out of bed, though,' 
said Wildrake, ' and I marvel you heard me not when I 
forced it open.' 

'My mind was occupied otherwise,' said Everard, 

'Well,' said Wildrake, 'but what has happened? Here 
am I bolt upright, and ready to fight, if this yawning 
fit will give me leave. Mother Redcap's mightiest is 
weaker than I drank last night, by a bushel to a barley- 
corn. I had quaffed the very elixir of malt. Ha — yaw.' 

'And some opiate besides, I should think,' said Ever- 

' Very like — very like ; less than the pistol-shot would 
not waken me — even me, who with but an ordinary 
grace-cup sleep as lightly as a maiden on the first of 
May, when she watches for the earliest beam to go to 
gather dew. But what are you about to do next? ' 

'Nothing,' answered Everard. 

'Nothing?' said Wildrake, in surprise. 

'I speak it,' said Colonel Everard, 'less for your in- 
formation than for that of others who may hear me, that 



I will leave the lodge this morning, and, if it is possible, 
remove the Commissioners.' 

'Hark,' said Wildrake, 'do you not hear some noise, 
like the distant sound of the applause of a theatre? 
The goblins of the place rejoice in your departure.' 

'I shall leave Woodstock,' said Everard, 'to the occu- 
pation of my uncle Sir Henry Lee, and his family, if 
they choose to resume it; not that I am frightened into 
this as a concession to the series of artifices which have 
been played off on this occasion, but solely because such 
was my intention from the beginning. But let me warn,' 
he added, raising his voice, 'let me warn the parties con- 
cerned in this combination that, though it may pass 
off successfully on a fool like Desborough, a visionary 
like Harrison, a coward like Bletson — ' 

Here a voice distinctly spoke, as standing near them 
— ' Or a wise, moderate, and resolute person like Colonel 

'By Heaven, the voice came from the picture,' said 
Wildrake, drawing his sword; 'I will pink his plated 
armour for him.' 

* Offer no violence,' said Everard, startled at the inter- 
ruption, but resuming with firmness what he was saying. 
'Let those engaged be aware that, however this string 
of artifices may be immediately successful, it must, 
when closely looked into, be attended with the punish- 
ment of all concerned, the total demolition of Woodstock, 
and the irremediable downfall of the family of Lee. Let 
all concerned think of this, and desist in time.' 

He paused, and almost expected a reply, but none 
such came. 

' It is a very odd thing,' said Wildrake ; ' but — yaw-ha 



— my brain cannot compass it just now: it whirls round 
like a toast in a bowl of muscadine. I must sit down — 
ha-yaw — and discuss it at leisure. Gramercy, good 

So saying, he threw himself, or rather sank gradually, 
down on a large easy-chair, which had been often 
pressed by the weight of stout Sir Henry Lee, and in an 
instant was sound asleep. Everard was far from 
feehng the same inclination for slumber, yet his mind 
was relieved of the apprehension of any further visita- 
tion that night; for he considered his treaty to evacuate 
Woodstock as made known to, and accepted in all pro- 
bability by, those whom the intrusion of the Commis- 
sioners had induced to take such singular measures for 
expelling them. His opinion, which had for a time 
bent towards a belief in something supernatural in the 
disturbances, had now returned to the more rational 
mode of accounting for them by dexterous combination, 
for which such a mansion as Woodstock afforded so 
many facilities. 

He heaped the hearth with fuel, lighted the candle, 
and, examining poor Wildrake's situation, adjusted him 
as easily in the chair as he could, the CavaHer stirring 
his limbs no more than an infant. His situation went 
far, in his patron's opinion, to infer trick and confed- 
eracy, for ghosts had no occasion to drug men's possets. 
He threw himself on the bed, and while he thought 
these strange circumstances over, a sweet and low strain 
of music stole through the chamber, the words, * Good- 
night — good-night — good-night,' thrice repeated, each 
time in a softer and more distant tone, seeming to as- 
sure him that the goblins and he were at truce, if not 



at peace, and that he had no more disturbance to ex- 
pect that night. He had scarcely the courage to call 
out a 'good-night'; for, after all his conviction of the 
existence of a trick, it was so well performed as to bring 
with it a feeling of fear, just like what an audience ex- 
perience during the performance of a tragic scene, which 
they know to be unreal, and which yet affects their pas- 
sions by its near approach to nature. Sleep overtook 
him at last, and left him not till broad daylight on the 
ensuing morning. 


And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger, 

At whose approach ghosts, wandering here and there, 

Troop home to churchyards. 

Midsummer Night's Dream. 

With the fresh air, and the rising of morning, every 
feeling of the preceding night had passed away from 
Colonel Everard's mind, excepting wonder how the ef- 
fects which he had witnessed could be produced. He 
examined the whole room, sounding both floor and wain- 
scot with his knuckles and cane, but was unable to dis- 
cern any secret passages; while the door, secured by a 
strong cross-bolt, and the lock besides, remained as firm 
as when he had fastened it on the preceding evening. 
The apparition resembling Victor Lee next called his 
attention. Ridiculous stories had been often circulated 
of this figure, or one exactly resembling it, having been 
met with by night among the waste apartments and cor- 
ridors of the old palace; and Markham Everard had 
often heard such in his childhood. He was angry to re- 
collect his own deficiency of courage, and the thrill 
which he felt on the preceding night when, by confeder- 
acy doubtless, such an object was placed before his eyes. 

'Surely/ he said, 'this fit of childish folly could not 
make me miss my aim; more hkely that the bullet had 
been withdrawn clandestinely from my pistol.' 

He examined that which was undischarged ; he found 
the bullet in it. He investigated the apartment oppo- 
site to the point at which he had fired, and at five feet 



from the floor, in a direct line between the bedside and 
the place where the appearances had been seen, a pistol- 
ball had recently buried itself in the wainscot. He had 
little doubt, therefore, that he had fired in a just direc- 
tion; and indeed, to have arrived at the place where it 
was lodged, the bullet must have passed through the 
appearance at which he aimed, and proceeded point- 
blank to the wall beyond. This was mysterious, and 
induced him to doubt whether the art of witchcraft or 
conjuration had not been called in to assist the machina- 
tions of those daring conspirators, who, being themselves 
mortal, might, nevertheless, according to the universal 
creed of the times, have invoked and obtained assistance 
from the inhabitants of another world. 

His next investigation respected the picture of Victor 
Lee itself. He examined it minutely as he stood on the 
floor before it, and compared its pale, shadowy, faintly- 
traced outlines, its faded colours, the stern repose of the 
eye, and deathlike pallidness of the countenance with 
its different aspect on the preceding night, when illum- 
inated by the artificial light which fell full upon it, while 
it left every other part of the room in comparative dark- 
ness. The features seemed then to have an unnatural 
glow, while the rising and falling of the flame in the 
chimney gave the head and limbs something which re- 
sembled the appearance of actual motion. Now, seen 
by day, it was a mere picture of the hard and ancient 
school of Holbein; last night, it seemed for the moment 
something more. Determined to get to the bottom of 
this contrivance if possible, Everard, by the assistance 
of a table and chair, examined the portrait still more 
closely, and endeavoured to ascertain the existence of 



any private spring, by which it might be slipt aside — a 
contrivance not unfrequent in ancient buildings, which 
usually abounded with means of access and escape, com- 
municated to none but the lords of the castle, or their 
immediate confidants. But the panel on which Victor 
Lee was painted was firmly fixed in the wainscoting of 
the apartment, of which it made a part, and the colonel 
satisfied himself that it could not have been used for the 
purpose which he had suspected. 

He next aroused his faithful squire Wildrake, who, 
notwithstanding his deep share of the 'blessedness of 
sleep,' had scarce even yet got rid of the effects of the 
grace-cup of the preceding evening. * It was the reward,' 
according to his own view of the matter, 'of his tem- 
perance, one single draught having made him sleep 
more late and more sound than a matter of half a 
dozen, or from thence to a dozen, pulls would have done, 
when he was guilty of the enormity of rere-suppers,* and 
of drinking deep after them.' 

'Had your temperate draught,' said Everard, 'been 
but a thought more strongly seasoned, Wildrake, thou 
hadst slept so sound that the last trump only could have 
waked thee.' 

'And then,' answered Wildrake, 'I should have waked 
with a headache, Mark; for I see my modest sip has not 
exempted me from that epilogue. But let us go forth, 
and see how the night, which we have passed so strangely, 
has been spent by the rest of them. I suspect they are 
all right willing to evacuate Woodstock, unless they have 
either rested better than we or at least been more lucky 
in lodgings.' 

* See Note 2. 


'In that case, I will dispatch thee down to Joceline's 
hut, to negotiate the reentrance of Sir Henry Lee and 
his family into their old apartments, where, my interest 
with the General being joined with the indifferent re- 
pute of the place itself, I think they have Httle chance 
of being disturbed either by the present or by any 
new Commissioners.' 

'But how are they to defend themselves against the 
fiends, my gallant Colonel? ' said Wildrake. * Methinks, 
had I an interest in yonder pretty girl such as thou 
dost boast, I should be loth to expose her to the terrors 
of a residence at Woodstock, where these devils — I 
beg their pardon, for I suppose they hear every word we 
say — these merry goblins make such gay work from 
twilight till morning.' 

* My dear Wildrake, ' said the colonel, ' I, as well as you, 
believe it possible that our speech may be overheard; 
but I care not, and will speak my mind plainly. I trust 
Sir Henry and Alice are not engaged in this silly plot : I 
cannot reconcile it with the pride of the one, the modesty 
of the other, or the good sense of both, that any motive 
could engage them in so strange a conjunction. But the 
fiends are all of your own political persuasion, Wildrake, 
all true-blue CavaUers; and I am convinced that Sir 
Henry and Alice Lee, though they be unconnected with 
them, have not the sUghtest cause to be apprehensive of 
their goblin machinations. Besides, Sir Henry and Joce- 
line must know every corner about the place : it will be 
far more difficult to play off any ghostly machinery upon 
him than upon strangers. But let us to our toilet, and 
when water and brush have done their work, we will 
inquire what is next to be done.' 



'Nay, that wretched Puritan's garb of mine is hardly- 
worth brushing,' said Wildrake; 'and but for this hun- 
dred-weight of rusty iron, with which thou hast be- 
dizened me, I look more hke a bankrupt Quaker than 
anything else. But I '11 make you as spruce as ever was 
a canting rogue of your party.' 

So saying, and humming at the same time the Cava- 
lier tune — 

' Though for a time we see Whitehall 
With cobwebs hung around the wall, 
Yet Heaven shall make amends for all, 
When the King shall enjoy his own again.' 

'Thou forgettest who are without,' said Colonel 

'No, I remember who are within,' replied his friend. 
' I only sing to my merry goblins, who will like me all the 
better for it. Tush, man, the devils are my honos socios, 
and when I see them, I will warrant they prove such 
roaring boys as I knew when I served under Lundsf ord 
and Goring — fellows with long nails that nothing es- 
caped, bottomless stomachs that nothing filled, mad 
for pillaging, ranting, drinking, and fighting, sleeping 
rough on the trenches, and dying stubbornly in their 
boots. Ah ! those merry days are gone 1 Well, it is the 
fashion to make a grave face on 't among CavaHers, and 
specially the parsons that have lost their tithe-pigs; but 
I was fitted for the element of the time, and never did 
or can desire merrier days than I had during that same 
barbarous, bloody, and unnatural rebellion.' 

'Thou wert ever a wild sea-bird, Roger, even accord- 
ing to your name, liking the gale better than the calm, 
the boisterous ocean better than the smooth lake, and 



your rough, wild struggle against the wind than daily 
food, ease, and quiet.' 

'Pshaw! a fig for your smooth lake, and your old 
woman to feed me with brewer's grains, and the poor 
drake obliged to come swattering whenever she whistles! 
Everard, I like to feel the wind rustle against my pinions 
— now diving, now on the crest of the wave, now in 
ocean, now in sky; that is the wildrake's joy, my grave 
one. And in the Civil War so it went mth us — down in 
one county, up in another, beaten to-day, victorious 
to-morrow, now starving in some barren leaguer, now 
revelling in a Presbyterian's pantry — his cellars, his 
plate-chest, his old judicial thiunb-ring, his pretty serv- 
ing-wench, all at command!' 

*Hush, friend,' said Everard; 'remember I hold that 

'More the pity, Mark — more the pity,' said Wild- 
rake; ' but, as you say, it is needless talking of it. Let 
us e'en go and see how your Presbyterian pastor, Mr. 
Holdenough, has fared, and whether he has proved 
more able to foil the Foul Fiend than have you his 
disciple and auditor.' 

They left the apartment accordingly, and were over- 
whelmed with the various incoherent accounts of senti- 
nels and others, all of whom had seen or heard something 
extraordinary in the course of the night. It is needless 
to describe particularly the various rumours which each 
contributed to the common stock, with the greater alac- 
rity that in such cases there seems always to be a sort 
of disgrace in not having seen or suffered as much as 

The most moderate of the narrators only talked of 



sounds like the mewing of a cat, or the growling of a dog, 
especially the squeaking of a pig. They heard also as 
if it had been nails driven and saws used, and the clash- 
ing of fetters, and the rustling of silk gowns, and the 
notes of music, and in short all sorts of sounds which 
have nothing to do with each other. Others swore they 
had smelt savours of various kinds, chiefly bituminous, 
indicating a Satanic derivation; others did not indeed 
swear, but protested, to visions of men in armour, horses 
without heads, asses with horns, and cows with six legs, 
not to mention black figures, whose cloven hoofs gave 
plain information what realm they belonged to. 

But these strongly-attested cases of nocturnal dis- 
turbances among the sentinels had been so general as 
to prevent alarm and succour on any particular point, 
so that those who were on duty called in vain on the 
corps de garde, who were trembling on their own post; 
and an alert enemy might have done complete execution 
on the whole garrison. But amid this general alerte, no 
violence appeared to be meant, and annoyance, not in- 
jury, seemed to have been the goblins' object, excepting 
in the case of one poor fellow, a trooper, who had fol- 
lowed Harrison in half his battles, and now was sentinel 
in that very vestibule upon which Everard had recom- 
mended them to mount a guard. He had presented his 
carabine at something which came suddenly upon him, 
when it was wrested out of his hands, and he himself 
knocked down with the butt end of it. His broken head 
and the drenched bedding of Desborough, upon whom 
a tub of ditch-water had been emptied during his sleep, 
were the only pieces of real evidence to attest the dis- 
turbances of the night. 



The reports from Harrison's apartment were, as de- 
Kvered by the grave Master Tomkins, that truly the 
general had passed the night undisturbed, though there 
was still upon him a deep sleep, and a folding of the 
hands to slumber; from which Everard argued that the 
machinators had esteemed Harrison's part of the reckon- 
ing sufficiently paid oflf on the preceding evening. 

He then proceeded to the apartment doubly garri- 
soned by the worshipful Desborough and the philosophi- 
cal Bletson. They were both up and dressing themselves, 
the former open-mouthed in his f eehng of fear and suffer- 
ing. Indeed, no sooner had Everard entered than the 
ducked and dismayed colonel made a dismal complaint 
of the way he had spent the night, and murmured not 
a httle against his worshipful kinsman for imposing a 
task upon him which inferred so much annoyance. 

'Could not his Excellency my kinsman Noll,' he said, 
'have given his poor relative and brother-in-law a sop 
somewhere else than out of this Woodstock, which seems 
to be the Devil's own porridge-pot? I cannot sup broth 
with the Devil: I have no long spoon — not I. Could 
he not have quartered me in some quiet comer, and given 
this haunted place to some of his preachers and prayers, 
who know the Bible as well as the muster-roll? whereas 
I know the four hoofs of a clean-going nag, or the points 
of a team of oxen, better than all the books of Moses. 
But I will give it over, at once and for ever: hopes of 
earthly gain shall never make me run the risk of being 
carried away bodily by the Devil, besides being set upon 
my head one whole night, and soused with ditch-water 
the next. No — no; I am too wise for that.' 

Master Bletson had a different part to act. He com- 



plained of no personal annoyances; on the contrary, he 
declared ' he should have slept as well as ever he did in 
his life, but for the abominable disturbances around 
him, of men calling to arms every half hour, when so 
much as a cat trotted by one of their posts. He would 
rather,' he said, 'have slept among a whole sabaoth of 
witches, if such creatures could be found.' 

'Then you think there are no such things as appari- 
tions, Master Bletson?' said Everard. 'I used to be 
sceptical on the subject; but, on my Ufe, to-night has 
been a strange one.' 

'Dreams — dreams — dreams, my simple colonel,* 
said Bletson, though his pale face and shaking limbs 
belied the assumed courage with which he spoke. * Old 
Chaucer, sir, hath told us the real moral on't. He 
was an old frequenter of the forest of Woodstock, 
here — ' 

'Chaser!' said Desborough; 'some huntsman belike, 
by his name. Does he walk, like Hearne at Windsor? ' 

'Chaucer,' said Bletson, 'my dear Desborough, is one 
of those wonderful fellows, as Colonel Everard knows, 
who live many a hundred years after they are buried, 
and whose words haunt our ears after their bones are 
long mouldered in the dust.' 

'Ay — ay! well,' answered Desborough, to whom this 
description of the old poet was unintelligible, ' I for one 
desire his room rather than his company — one of your 
conjurers, I warrant him. But what says he to the 
matter? ' 

'Only a slight spell, which I will take the freedom to 
repeat to Colonel Everard,' said Bletson; 'but which 
would be as bad as Greek to thee, Desborough. Old 



Geoffrey lays the whole blame of our nocturnal dis- 
turbance on superfluity of humours, 

WTiich causen folke to dred in their dreams 
Of arrowes, and of fire with red gleams, 
Right as the humour of Melancholy 
Causeth many a man in sleep to cry 
For fear of great bulls and bears black. 
And others that black devils will them take.' 

While he was thus declaiming, Everard observed a 
book sticking out from beneath the pillow of the bed 
lately occupied by the honourable member. 

*Is that Chaucer?' he said, making to the volume. 'I 
would like to look at the passage — ' 

'Chaucer!' said Bletson, hastening to interfere; 'no, 
that is Lucretius — my darling Lucretius. I cannot let 
you see it: I have some private marks.' 

But by this time Everard had the book in his hand. 
'Lucretius!' he said. 'No, Master Bletson, this is not 
Lucretius, but a fitter comforter in dread or in danger. 
Why should you be ashamed of it? Only, Bletson, in- 
stead of resting your head, if you can but anchor your 
heart upon this volume, it may serve you in better 
stead than Lucretius or Chaucer either.' 

'Why, what book is it?' said Bletson, his pale cheek 
colouring with the shame of detection. 'Oh, the Bible!' 
throwing it down contemptuously; 'some book of my 
fellow Gibeon's: these Jews have been always super- 
stitious, ever since Juvenal's time, thou knowest — 

Qualiacunque voles Judaei somnia vendunt. 

He left me the old book for a spell, I warrant you, for 
't is a well-meaning fool.' 
'He would scarce have left the New Testament as 



well as the Old/ said Everard. 'Come, my dear Blet- 
son, do not be ashamed of the wisest thing you ever did 
in your life, supposing you took your Bible in an hour 
of apprehension, with a view to profit by the contents.' 

Bletson's vanity was so much galled that it overcame 
his constitutional cowardice. His little thin fingers 
quivered for eagerness, his neck and cheeks were as red 
as scarlet, and his articulation was as thick and vehe- 
ment as — in short, as if he had been no philosopher. 

'Master Everard,' he said, 'you are a man of the 
sword, sir; and, sir, you seem to suppose yourself en- 
titled to say whatever comes into your mind with re- 
spect to civilians, sir. But I would have you remember, 
sir, that there are bounds beyond which human patience 
may be urged, sir, and jests which no man of honour 
will endure, sir; and, therefore, I expect an apology for 
your present language. Colonel Everard, and this un- 
mannerly jesting, sir, or you may chance to hear from 
me in a way that will not please you.' 

Everard could not help smiling at this explosion of 
valour, engendered by irritated self-love. 

'Look you. Master Bletson,' he said, 'I have been 
a soldier, that is true, but I was never a bloody-minded 
one; and as a Christian, I am unwilling to enlarge the 
kingdom of darkness by sending a new vassal thither 
before his time. If Heaven gives you time to repent, I 
see no reason why my hand should deprive you of it, 
which, were we to have a rencontre, would be your fate in 
the thrust of a sword or the pulling of a trigger. I there- 
fore prefer to apologise; and I call Desborough, if he has 
recovered his wits, to bear evidence that I do apologise 
for having suspected you, who are completely the slave 



of your own vanity, of any tendency, however slight, 
towards grace or good sense. And I further apologise for 
the time that I have wasted in endeavouring to wash 
an Ethiopian white, or in recommending rational inquiry 
to a self-willed atheist.' 

Bletson, overjoyed at the turn the matter had taken 
— for the defiance was scarce out of his mouth ere he 
began to tremble for the consequences — answered with 
great eagerness and servility of manner — 'Nay, dearest 
colonel, say no more of it, an apology is all that is neces- 
sary among men of honour; it neither leaves dishonour 
with him who asks it nor infers degradation on him who 
makes it.' 

'Not such an apology as I have made, I trust,' said 
the colonel. 

*No, no — not in the least,' answered Bletson; 'one 
apolog>^ serves me just as well as another, and Des- 
borough will bear witness you have made one, and that 
is all there can be said on the subject.' 

'Master Desborough and you,' rejoined the colonel, 
' will take care how the matter is reported, I dare say, and 
I only recommend to both that, if mentioned at all, it 
may be told correctly.' 

'Nay — nay, we will not mention it at all,' said Blet- 
son: 'we will forget it from this moment. Only, never 
suppose me capable of superstitious weakness. Had I 
been afraid of an apparent and real danger — why, 
such fear is natural to man, and I will not deny that the 
mood of mind may have happened to me as well as to 
others. But to be thought capable of resorting to spells, 
and sleeping with books under my pillow to secure my- 
self against ghosts — on my word, it was enough to 
87 273 


provoke one to quarrel, for the moment, with his very 
best friend. And now. Colonel, what is to be done, and 
how is our duty to be executed at this accursed place? 
If I should get such a wetting as Desborough's, why I 
should die of catarrh, though you see it hurts him no 
more than a bucket of water thrown over a post-horse. 
You are, I presume, a brother in our commission; how 
are you of opinion we should proceed? ' 

'Why, in good time here comes Harrison,' said Ever- 
ard, 'and I will lay my commission from the Lord Gen- 
eral before you all, which, as you see, Colonel Des- 
borough, commands you to desist from acting on your 
present authority, and intimates his pleasure accord- 
ingly, that you withdraw from this place.' 

Desborough took the paper and examined the signa- 
ture. 'It is Noll's signature sure enough,' said he drop- 
ping his under jaw ; ' only, every time of late he has made 
the " Oliver" as large as a giant, while the " Cromwell" 
creeps after like a dwarf, as if the surname were like to 
disappear one of these days altogether. But is his Ex- 
cellency our kinsman, Noll Cromwell (since he has the 
surname yet), so unreasonable as to think his relations 
and friends are to be set upon their heads till they have 
the crick in their neck, drenched as if they had been 
plunged in a horse-pond, frightened, day and night, by 
all sorts of devils, witches, and fairies, and get not a 
penny of smart-money? Adzooks — forgive me for 
swearing — if that 's the case, I had better home to my 
farm, and mind team and herd, than dangle after such 
a thankless person, though I have wived his sister. She 
was poor enough when I took her, for as high as Noll 
holds his head now.' 



'It is not my purpose,' said Bletson, 'to stir debate 
in this honourable meeting; and no one will doubt the 
veneration and attachment which I bear to our noble 
General, whom the current of events, and his own match- 
less qualities of courage and constancy, have raised so 
high in these deplorable days. If I were to term him 
a direct and immediate emanation of the Animus 
Mundi itself — something which Nature had produced 
in her proudest hour, while exerting herself, as is her law, 
for the preservation of the creatures to whom she has 
given existence — I should scarce exhaust the ideas 
which I entertain of him ; always protesting, that I am by 
no means to be held as admitting, but merely as grant- 
ing for the sake of argument, the possible existence of 
that species of emanation or exhalation from the Ani- 
mus Mundi of which I have made mention. I appeal to 
you, Colonel Desborough, who are his Excellency's rela- 
tion — to you, Colonel Everard, who hold the dearer title 
of his friend, whether I have overrated my zeal in his 

Everard bowed at this pause, but Desborough gave a 
more complete authentication. 'Nay, I can bear wit- 
ness to that. I have seen when you were wilUng to tie 
his points or brush his cloak, or the like; and to b? 
treated thus ungratefully, and gudgeoned of the oppor^ 
tunities which had been given you — ' 

'It is not for that,' said Bletson, waving his hand 
gracefully. 'You do me wrong, Master Desborough — 
you do indeed, kind sir, although I know you meant 
it not. No, sir — no partial consideration of private 
interest prevailed on me to undertake this charge. It 
was conferred on me by the ParUament of England, in 



whose name this war commenced, and by the Council 
of State, who are the conservators of England's liberty. 
And the chance and serene hope of serving the country, 
the confidence that I — and you. Master Desborough, 
and you, worthy General Harrison — superior, as I am, 
to all selfish considerations — to which I am sure you 
also, good Colonel Everard, would be superior, had you 
been named in this commission, as I would to Heaven 
you had — I say the hope of serving the country, with 
the aid of such respectable associates, one and all of 
them — as well as you. Colonel Everard, supposing you 
to have been of the number — induced me to accept of 
this opportunity, whereby I might, gratuitously, with 
your assistance, render so much advantage to our dear 
mother the Commonwealth of England. Such was my 
hope, my trust, my confidence. And now comes my 
Lord General's warrant to dissolve the authority by 
which we are entitled to act. Gentlemen, I ask this 
honourable meeting — with all respect to his Excellency 
— whether his commission be paramount to that from 
which he himself directly holds his commission? No one 
will say so. I ask whether he has climbed into the seat 
from which the late Man descended, or hath a great 
seal, or means to proceed by prerogative in such a case? 
I cannot see reason to beheve it, and therefore I must 
resist such doctrine. I am in your judgment, my brave 
and honourable colleagues; but, touching my own poor 
opinion, I feel myself under the unhappy necessity of 
proceeding in our commission, as if the interruption 
had not taken place; with this addition, that the Board 
of Sequestrators should sit by day at this same lodge of 
Woodstock, but that, to reconcile the minds of weak 



brethren, who may be afflicted by superstitious ru- 
mours, as well as to avoid any practice on our persons by 
the Malignants, who, I am convinced, are busy in this 
neighbourhood, we should remove our sittings after sun- 
set to the George Inn, in the neighbouring borough.' 

'Good Master Bletson,' replied Colonel Everard, *it 
is not for me to reply to you; but you may know in 
what characters this army of England and their General 
write their authority. I fear me the annotation on this 
precept of the General will be expressed by the march 
of a troop of horse from Oxford to see it executed. I be- 
lieve there are orders out for that effect; and you know 
by late experience that the soldier will obey his General 
equally against King and Parliament.' 

'That obedience is conditional,' said Harrison, start- 
ing fiercely up. 'Know'st thou not, Markham Everard, 
that I have followed the man Cromwell as close as the 
bull-dog follows his master? and so I will yet; but I am 
no spaniel, either to be beaten or to have the food I have 
earned snatched from me, as if I were a vile cur, whose 
wages are a whipping and free leave to wear my own 
skin. I looked, amongst the three of us, that we might 
honestly and piously, and with advantage to the Com- 
monwealth, have gained out of this commission three, 
or it may be five, thousand pounds. And does Cromwell 
imagine I will part with it for a rough word? No man 
goeth a warfare on his own charges. He that serves the 
altar must live by the altar, and the saints must have 
means to provide them with good harness and fresh 
horses against the unsealing and the pouring forth. 
Does Cromwell think I am so much of a tame tiger as to 
permit him to rend from me at pleasure the miserable 



dole he hath thrown me? Of a surety I will resist; and 
the men who are here, being chiefly of my own regiment 
— men who wait, and who expect, with lamps burning 
and loins girded, and each one his weapon bound upon 
his thigh — will aid me to make this house good against 
every assault — ay, even against Cromwell himself, 
until the latter coming. Selah — Selah ! ' 

'And I,' said Desborough, 'will levy troops and pro- 
tect your out-quarters, not choosing at present to close 
myself up in garrison — ' 

'And I,' said Bletson, 'will do my part, and hie me to 
town and lay the matter before Parliament, arising in 
my place for that effect.' 

Everard was little moved by all these threats. The 
only formidable one, indeed, was that of Harrison, whose 
enthusiasm, joined with his courage, and obstinacy, and 
character among the fanatics of his own principles, made 
him a dangerous enemy. Before trying any arguments 
with the refractory major-general, Everard endeavoured 
to moderate his feelings, and threw something in about 
the late disturbances. 

'Talk not to me of supernatural disturbances, young 
man — talk not to me of enemies in the body or out of 
the body. Am I not the champion chosen and commis- 
sioned to encounter and to conquer the great Dragon, 
and the Beast which cometh out of the sea? Am I not to 
command the left wing and two regiments of the centre, 
when the saints shall encounter with the countless 
legions of Gog and Magog? I tell thee that my name 
is written on the sea of glass mingled with fire, and that 
I will keep this place of Woodstock against all mortal 
men, and against all devils, whether in field or chamber, 



in the forest or in the meadow, even till the saints reign 
in the fulness of their glory ! ' 

Everard saw it was then time to produce two or three 
lines under Cromwell's hand, which he had received 
from the General subsequently to the communication 
through Wildrake. The information they contained 
was calculated to allay the disappointment of the Com- 
missioners. This document assigned as the reason of 
superseding the Woodstock Commission, that he should 
probably propose to the Parliament to require the 
assistance of General Harrison, Colonel Desborough, 
and Master Bletson, the honourable member for Little- 
faith, in a much greater matter, namely, the disposing 
of the royal property, and disparking of the king's forest, 
at Windsor. So soon as this idea was started, all parties 
pricked up their ears; and their drooping, and gloomy 
and vindictive, looks began to give place to courteous 
smiles, and to a cheerfulness which laughed in their 
eyes and turned their mustaches upwards. 

Colonel Desborough acquitted his right honourable 
and excellent cousin and kinsman of all species of un- 
kindness; Master Bletson discovered that the interest of 
the state was trebly concerned in the good administra- 
tion of Windsor more than in that of Woodstock ; as for 
Harrison, he exclaimed, without disguise or hesitation, 
that the gleaning of the grapes of Windsor was better 
than the vintage of Woodstock. Thus speaking, the 
glance of his dark eye expressed as much triumph in the 
proposed earthly advantage as if it had not been, ac- 
cording to his vain persuasion, to be shortly exchanged 
for his share in the general reign of the millennium. His 
delight, in short, resembled the joy of an eagle, who preys 



upon a lamb in the evening with not the less relish be- 
cause she descries in the distant landscape an hundred 
thousand men about to join battle with daybreak, and 
to give her an endless feast on the hearts and Hf e-blood 
of the valiant. 

Yet, though all agreed that they would be obedient to 
the General's pleasure in this matter, Bletson proposed, 
as a precautionary measure, in which all agreed, that 
they should take up their abode for some time in the 
town of Woodstock, to wait for their new commissions 
respecting Windsor; and this upon the prudential con- 
sideration, that it was best not to slip one knot until 
another was first tied. 

Each commissioner, therefore, wrote to Oliver indi- 
vidually, stating, in his own way, the depth and height, 
length and breadth, of his attachment to him. Each 
expressed himself resolved to obey the General's injunc- 
tions to the uttermost; but with the same scrupulous 
devotion to the Parliament, each found himself at a loss 
how to lay down the commission entrusted to them by 
that body, and therefore felt bound in conscience to take 
up his residence at the borough of Woodstock, that he 
might not seem to abandon the charge committed to 
them until they should be called to administrate the 
weightier matter of Windsor, to which they expressed 
their willingness instantly to devote themselves, accord- 
ing to his Excellency's pleasure. 

This was the general style of their letters, varied by 
the characteristic flourishes of the writers. Desborough, 
for example, said something about the religious duty of 
providing for one's own household, only he blundered 
the text; Bletson wrote long and big words about the 



political obligation incumbent on every member of the 
community, on every person, to sacrifice his time and 
talents to the service of his country; while Harrison 
talked of the littleness of present affairs, in comparison 
of the approaching tremendous change of all things 
beneath the sun. But although the garnishing of the 
various epistles was different, the result came to the 
same, that they were determined at least to keep sight 
of Woodstock until they were well assured of some 
better and more profitable commission. 

Everard also wrote a letter in the most grateful terms 
to Cromwell, which would probably have been less warm 
had he known more distinctly than his follower chose to 
tell him the expectation under which the wily General 
had granted his request. He acquainted his Excellency 
with his purpose of continuing at Woodstock, partly to 
assure himself of the motions of the three Commission- 
ers, and to watch whether they did not again enter upon 
the execution of the trust which they had for the present 
renounced; and partly to see that some extraordinary 
circumstances which had taken place in the lodge, and 
which would doubtless transpire, were not followed by 
any explosion to the disturbance of the public peace. 
He knew, as he expressed himself, that his Excellency 
was so much the friend of order, that he would rather 
disturbances or insurrections were prevented than pun- 
ished ; and he conjured the General to repose confidence 
in his exertions for the public service by every mode 
within his power, not aware, it will be observed, in what 
peculiar sense his general pledge might be interpreted. 

These letters, being made up into a packet, were for- 
warded to Windsor by a trooper, detached on that errand. 


V>'e do that in our zeal 

Our calmer moments are afraid to answer. 


While the Commissioners were preparing to remove 
themselves from the lodge to the inn at the borough of 
Woodstock, with all that state and bustle which attend 
the movements of great persons, and especially of such 
to whom greatness is not entirely familiar, Everard held 
some colloquy with the Presbyterian clergyman. Master 
Holdenough, who had issued from the apartment which 
he had occupied, as it were in defiance of the spirits by 
whom the mansion was supposed to be disturbed, and 
whose pale cheek and pensive brow gave token that he 
had not passed the night more comfortably than the 
other inmates of the lodge of Woodstock. Colonel 
Everard having offered to procure the reverend gentle- 
man some refreshment, received this reply: 'This day 
shall I not taste food, saving that which we are assured 
of as sufficient for our sustenance, where it is promised 
that our bread shall be given us and our water shall be 
sure. Not that I fast in the Papistical opinion that it 
adds to those merits which are but an accumulation of 
filthy rags; but because I hold it needful that no grosser 
sustenance should this day cloud my understanding, or 
render less pure and vivid the thanks I owe to Heaven 
for a most wonderful preservation.' 

'Master Holdenough,' said Everard, 'you are, I know, 
both a good man and a bold one, and I saw you last 



night courageously go upon your sacred duty, when 
soldiers, and tried ones, seemed considerably alarmed.' 

' Too courageous — too venturous,' was Master Hold- 
enough's reply, the boldness of whose aspect seemed 
completely to have died away. 'We are frail creatures. 
Master Everard, and frailest when we think ourselves 
strongest. Oh, Colonel Everard,' he added, after a pause, 
and as if the confidence was partly involuntary, * I have 
seen that which I shall never survive ! ' 

'You surprise me, reverend sir,' said Everard; 'may 
I request you will speak more plainly? I have heard 
some stories of this wild night, nay, have witnessed 
strange things myself; but, methinks, I would be much 
interested in knowing the nature of your disturbance.' 

'Sir,' said the clergyman, 'you are a discreet gentle- 
man; and though I would not willingly that these here- 
tics, schismatics, Brownists, Muggletonians, Anabap- 
tists, and so forth, had such an opportunity of triumph 
as my defeat in this matter would have afforded them, 
yet with you, who have been ever a faithful follower of 
our church, and are pledged to the good cause by the 
great National League and Covenant, surely I would be 
more open. Sit we down, therefore, and let me call for a 
glass of pure water, for as yet I feel some bodily falter- 
ing; though, I thank Heaven, I am in mind resolute and 
composed as a merely mortal man may after such a 
vision. They say, worthy colonel, that looking on such 
things foretells, or causes, speedy death. I know not if 
it be true; but if so, I only depart Hke the tired sentinel 
when his officer releases him from his post; and glad shall 
I be to close these wearied eyes against the sight, and 
shut these harassed ears against the croaking, as of 



frogs, of Antinomians, and Pelagians, and Socinians, and 
Arminians, and Arians, and Nullifidians, which have 
come up into our England like those filthy reptiles into 
the house of Pharaoh.' 

Here one of the servants who had been summoned 
entered with a cup of water, gazing at the same time in 
the face of the clergyman, as if his stupid grey eyes were 
endeavouring to read what tragic tale was written on his 
brow; and shaking his empty skull as he left the room, 
with the air of one who was proud of having discovered 
that all was not exactly right, though he could not so 
well guess what was wrong. 

Colonel Everard invited the good man to take some 
refreshment more genial than the pure element, but he 
declined. 'I am in some sort a champion,' he said; 'and 
though I have been foiled in the late controversy with 
the enemy, still I have my trumpet to give the alarm, 
and my sharp sword to smite withal ; therefore, like the 
Nazarites of old, I will eat nothing that cometh of the 
vine, neither drink wine nor strong drink, until these my 
days of combat shall have passed away,' 

Kindly and respectfully the colonel anew pressed 
Master Holdenough to communicate the events that 
had befallen him on the preceding night; and the good 
clergyman proceeded as follows, with that little charac- 
teristical touch of vanity in his narrative which naturally 
arose out of the part he had played in the world, and the 
influence which he had exercised over the minds of 
others. *I was a young man at the University of Cam- 
bridge,' he said, 'when I was particularly bound in 
friendship to a fellow-student, perhaps because we were 
esteemed, though it is vain to mention it, the most hope- 



ful scholars at our college, and so equally advanced, that 
it was difficult, perhaps, to say which was the greater 
proficient in his studies. Only our tutor, Master Pure- 
foy, used to say that, if my comrade had the advantage 
of me in gifts, I had the better of him in grace ; for he was 
attached to the profane learning of the classics, always 
unprofitable, often impious and impure, and I had hght 
enough to turn my studies into the sacred tongues. Also 
we differed in our opinions touching the Church of Eng- 
land, for he held Arminian opinions, with Laud, and 
those who would connect our ecclesiastical estabhsh- 
ment with the civil, and make the church dependent on 
the breath of an earthly man. In fine, he favoured Pre- 
lacy both in essentials and ceremonial ; and although we 
parted with tears and embraces, it was to follow very 
different courses. He obtained a liv-ing, and became a 
great controversial writer in behalf of the bishops and of 
the court. I also, as is well known to you, to the best of 
my poor abilities, sharpened my pen in the cause of the 
poor oppressed people, whose tender consciences re- 
jected the rites and ceremonies more befitting a Papisti- 
cal than a Reformed church, and which, according to 
the blinded policy of the court, were enforced by pains 
and penalties. Then came the Civil War, and I — called 
thexeunto by my conscience, and nothing fearing or sus- 
pecting what miserable consequences have chanced, 
through the rise of these Independents — consented to 
lend my countenance and labour to the great work, by 
becoming chaplain to Colonel Harrison's regiment. Not 
that I mingled with carnal weapons in the field — which 
Heaven forbid that a minister of the alLar should — but I 
preached, exhorted, and, in time of need, was a surgeon, 



as well to the wounds of the body as of the soul. Now, 
it fell, towards the end of the war, that a party of Malig- 
nants had seized on a strong house in the shire of Shrews- 
bury, situated on a small island, advanced into a lake, 
and accessible only by a small and narrow causeway. 
From thence they made excursions, and vexed the coun- 
try; and high time it was to suppress them, so that a 
part of our regiment went to reduce them; and I was 
requested to go, for they were few in number to take in 
so strong a place, and the colonel judged that my exhort- 
ations would make them do vaUantly. And so, con- 
trary to my wont, I went forth with them, even to the 
field, where there was vaUant fighting on both sides. 
Nevertheless, the Mahgnants, shooting their wall-pieces 
at us, had so much the advantage, that, after bursting 
their gates with a salvo of our cannon, Colonel Harrison 
ordered his men to advance on the causeway, and try to 
carry the place by storm. Natheless, although our men 
did valiantly, advancing in good order, yet being galled 
on every side by the fire, they at length fell into disorder, 
and were retreating with much loss, Harrison himself 
vaHantly bringing up the rear, and defending them as 
he could against the enemy, who sallied forth in pursuit 
of them, to smite them hip and thigh. Now, Colonel 
Everard, I am a man of a quick and vehement temper by 
nature, though better teaching than the old law hath 
made me mild and patient as you now see me. I could 
not bear to see our IsraeHtes flying before the PhiHstines, 
so I rushed upon the causeway, with the Bible in one 
hand and a halberd, which I had caught up, in the other, 
and turned back the foremost fugitives by threatening 
to strike them down, pointing out to them at the same 



time a priest in his cassock, as they call it, who was 
among the Malignants, and asking them whether they 
would not do as much for a true servant of Heaven as 
the uncircumcised would for a priest of Baal. My words 
and strokes prevailed : they turned at once, and shouting 
out, "Down with Baal and his worshippers!" they 
charged the MaHgnants so unexpectedly home, that 
they not only drove them back into their house of garri- 
son, but entered it with them, as the phrase is, pell-mell. 
I also was there, partly hurried on by the crowd, partly 
to prevail on our enraged soldiers to give quarter; for it 
grieved my heart to see Christians and EngHshmen 
hashed down with swords and gunstocks, like curs in the 
street when there is an alarm of mad dogs. In this way, 
the soldiers fighting and slaughtering, and I calHng to 
them to stay their hand, we gained the very roof of the 
building, which was in part leaded, and to which, as a 
last tower of refuge, those of the Cavaliers who yet 
escaped had retired. I was myself, I may say, forced up 
the narrow winding staircase by our soldiers, who rushed 
on hkc dogs of chase upon their prey; and when extri- 
cated from the passage, I found myself in the midst of a 
horrid scene. The scattered defenders were, some resist- 
ing with the fury of despair, some on their knees, implor- 
ing for compassion in words and tones to break a man's 
heart when he thinks on them ; some were calUng on God 
for mercy — and it was time, for man had none. They 
were stricken down, thrust through, flung from the 
battlements into the lake; and the- wild cries of the 
victors, mingled with the groans, shrieks, and clamours 
of the vanquished, made a sound so horrible, that only 
death can erase it from my memory. And the men 



who butchered their fellow-creatures thus were neither 
pagans from distant savage lands, nor ruffians, the re- 
fuse and offscourings of our own people. They were in 
calm blood reasonable, nay, religious, men, maintain- 
ing a fair repute both heavenward and earthward. Oh, 
Master Everard, your trade of war should be feared and 
avoided, since it converts such men into wolves towards 
their fellow-creatures ! ' 

'It is a stern necessity,' said Everard, looking down, 
'and as such alone is justifiable. But proceed, reverend 
sir; I see not how this storm, an incident but e'en too 
frequent on both sides during the late war, connects with 
the affair of last night.' 

'You shall hear anon,' said Mr. Holdenough; then 
paused, as one who makes an effort to compose himself 
before continuing a relation the tenor of which agitated 
him with much violence. 'In this infernal tumult,' he 
resumed — ' for surely nothing on earth could so much 
resemble Hell as when men go thus loose in mortal 
malice on their fellow-creatures — I saw the same priest 
whom I had distinguished on the causeway, with one or 
two other Malignants, pressed into a corner by the as- 
sailants, and defending themselves to the last, as those 
who had no hope. I saw him — I knew him — oh, 
Colonel Everard ! ' 

He grasped Everard's hand with his own left hand, 
and pressed the palm of his right to his face and fore- 
head, sobbing aloud. 

'It was your college companion?' said Everard, an- 
ticipating the catastrophe. 

' Mine ancient — mine only friend, with whom I had 
spent the happy days of youth! I rushed forward — I 



struggled — I entreated. But my eagerness left me 
neither voice nor language: all was drowned in the 
wretched cry which I had myself raised. ''Down with 
the priest of Baal. Slay Mattan — slay him were he 
between the altars!" Forced over the battlements, but 
struggling for life, I could see him cUng to one of those 
projections which were formed to carry the water from 
the leads; but they hacked at his arms and hands. I 
heard the heavy fall into the bottomless abyss below. 
Excuse me; I cannot go on!' 

*He may have escaped?' 

*0h! no — no — no, the tower was four stories in 
height. Even those who threw themselves into the lake 
from the lower windows, to escape by swimming, had no 
safety; for mounted troopers on the shore caught the 
same bloodthirsty humour which had seized the storm- 
ing-party, galloped around the margin of the lake, and 
shot those who were struggling for life in the water, or 
cut them down as they strove to get to land. They were 
all cut off and destroyed. Oh! may the blood shed on 
that day remain silent ! Oh ! that the earth may receive 
it in her recesses! Oh! that it may be mingled for ever 
with the dark waters of that lake, so that it may never 
cry for vengeance against those whose anger was fierce, 
and who slaughtered in their wrath 1 And, oh ! may the 
erring man be forgiven who came into their assembly, 
and lent his voice to encourage their cruelty! Oh! 
Albany, my brother — my brother, I have lamented 
thee even as David for Jonathan!' ^ 

The good man sobbed aloud, and so much did Colonel 
Everard sympathise with his emotions, that he forebore 
^ See Note 3. 
37 289 


to press him upon the subject of his own curiosity until 
the full tide of remorseful passion had for the time 
abated. It was, however, fierce and agitating, the more 
so, perhaps, that indulgence in strong mental feeling of 
any kind was foreign to the severe and ascetic character 
of the man, and was therefore the more overpowering 
when it had at once surmounted all restraints. Large 
tears flowed down the trembling features of his thin, and 
usually stern, or at least austere, countenance; he eag- 
erly returned the compression of Everard's hand, as if 
thankful for the sympathy which the caress implied. 

Presently after. Master Holdenough wiped his eyes, 
withdrew his hand gently from that of Everard, shaking 
it kindly as they parted, and proceeded with more com- 
posure: 'Forgive me this burst of passionate feeling, 
worthy colonel. I am conscious it little becomes a man 
of my cloth, who should be the bearer of consolation to 
others, to give way in mine own person to an extremity 
of grief, weak at least, if indeed it is not sinful; for what 
are we, that we should weep and murmur touching that 
which is permitted? But Albany was to me as a brother. 
The happiest days of my life, ere my call to mingle my- 
self in the strife of the land had awakened me to my 
duties, were spent in his company. I — but I will make 
the rest of my story short.' Here he drew his chair close 
to that of Everard, and spoke in a solemn and mysteri- 
ous tone of voice, almost lowered to a whisper — 'I saw 
him last night.' 

' Saw him — saw whom? ' said Everard. ' Can you 
mean the person whom — ' 

'Whom I saw so ruthlessly slaughtered,' said the 
clergyman — 'my ancient college-friend, Joseph Albany.' 



'Master Holdenough, your cloth and your character 
alike must prevent your jesting on such a subject as 

* Jesting ! ' answered Holdenough ; ' I would as soon jest 
on my death-bed — as soon jest upon the Bible.' 

'But you must have been deceived,' answered Ever- 
ard, hastily; * this tragical story necessarily often returns 
to your mind, and in moments when the imagination 
overcomes the evidence of the outward senses, your 
fancy must have presented to you an unreal appearance. 
Nothing more hkely, when the mind is on the stretch 
after something supernatural, than that the imagination 
should supply the place with a chimera, while the over- 
excited feelings render it difficult to dispel the delusion.' 

'Colonel Everard,' replied Holdenough, with auster- 
ity, 'in discharge of my duty I must not fear the face of 
man; and, therefore, I tell you plainly, as I have done 
before with more observance, that when you bring your 
carnal learning and judgment, as it is but too much your 
nature to do, to investigate the hidden things of another 
world, you might as well measure with the palm of your 
hand the waters of the Isis. Indeed, good sir, you err in 
this, and give men too much pretence to confound your 
honourable name with witch-advocates, freethinkers, 
and atheists, even with such as this man Bletson, who, 
if the disciphne of the church had its hand strengthened, 
as it was in the beginning of the great conflict, would 
have been long ere now cast out of the pale, and de- 
livered over to the punishment of the flesh, that his 
spirit might, if possible, be yet saved.' 

'You mistake, Master Holdenough,' said Colonel 
Everard: 'I do not deny the existence of such preter- 



natural visitations, because I cannot, and dare not, raise 
the voice of my own opinion against the testimony of 
ages, supported by such learned men as yourself. Nev- 
ertheless, though I grant the possibility of such things, 
I have scarce yet heard of an instance in my days so well 
fortified by evidence that I could at once and distinctly 
say, "This must have happened by supernatural agency, 
and not otherwise.'" 

'Hear, then, what I have to tell,' said the divine, 'on 
the faith of a man, a Christian, and, what is more, a serv- 
ant of our Holy Church ; and therefore, though unworthy, 
an elder and a teacher among Christians. I had taken 
my post yester evening in the half-furnished apart- 
ment wherein hangs a huge mirror, which might have 
served GoHath of Gath to have admired himself in, when 
clothed from head to foot in his brazen armour. I the 
rather chose this place, because they informed me it was 
the nearest habitable room to the gallery in which they 
say you had been yourself assailed that evening by the 
Evil One. Was it so, I pray you?' 

* By some one with no good intentions I was assailed 
in that apartment. So far,' said Colonel Everard, 'you 
were correctly informed.' 

'Well, I chose my post as well as I might, even as a 
resolved general approaches his camp, and casts up his 
mound as nearly as he can to the besieged city. And, of 
a truth, Colonel Everard, if I felt some sensation of 
bodily fear — for even Elias and the prophets, who com- 
manded the elements, had a portion in our frail nature, 
much more such a poor sinful being as myself — yet was 
my hope and my courage high; and I thought of the 
texts which I might use, not in the wicked sense of peri- 



apts, or spells, as the blinded Papists employ them, to- 
gether with the sign of the cross and other fruitless 
forms, but as nourishing and supporting that true trust 
and confidence in the blessed promises, being the true 
shield of faith wherewith the fiery darts of Satan may be 
withstood and quenched. And thus armed and prepared 
I sate me down to read, at the same time to write, that 
I might compel my mind to attend to those subjects 
which became the situation in which I was placed, as 
preventing any unlicensed excursions of the fancy, and 
leaving no room for my imagination to brood over idle 
fears. So I methodised, and wrote down what I thought 
meet for the time, and peradventure some hungry souls 
may yet profit by the food which I then prepared.' 

* It was wisely and worthily done, good and reverend 
sir,' replied Colonel Everard; 'I pray you to proceed.' 

'While I was thus employed, sir, and had been upon 
the matter for about three hours, not yielding to weari- 
ness, a strange thriUing came over my senses, and the 
large and old-fashioned apartment seemed to wax 
larger, more gloomy, and more cavernous, while the air 
of the night grew more cold and chill: I know not if it was 
that the fire began to decay, or whether there cometh 
before such things as were then about to happen a 
breath and atmosphere, as it were, of terror, as Job 
saith in a well-known passage, "Fear came upon me, 
and trembling, which made my bones to shake"; and 
there was a tingling noise in my ears, and a dizziness in 
my brain, so that I felt like those who call for aid when 
there is no danger, and was even prompted to flee, when I 
saw no one to pursue. It was then that something seemed 
to pass behind me, casting a reflection on the great mirror 



before which I had placed my writing-table, and which 
I saw by assistance of the large standing light which 
was then in front of the glass. And I looked up, and I 
saw in the glass distinctly the appearance of a man; as 
sure as these words issue from my mouth, it was no other 
than the same Joseph Albany — the companion of my 
youth — he whom I had seen precipitated down the 
battlements of Clidesthrough Castle into the deep lake 

'What did you do?' 

*It suddenly rushed on my mind,' said the divine, 
*that the stoical philosopher Athenodorus had eluded 
the horrors of such a vision by patiently pursuing his 
studies; and it shot at the same time across my mind that 
I, a Christian divine, and a steward of the Mysteries, 
had less reason to fear evil, and better matter on which 
to employ my thoughts, than was possessed by a 
heathen, who was blinded even by his own wisdom. So, 
instead of betraying any alarm, or even turning my 
head around, I pursued my writing, but with a beat- 
ing heart, I admit, and with a throbbing hand.' 

*If you could write at all,' said the colonel, 'with 
such an impression on your mind, you may take the 
head of the English army for dauntless resolution.' 

'Our courage is not our own, colonel,' said the divine, 
and not as ours should it be vaunted of. And again, 
when you speak of this strange vision as an impression 
on my fancy, and not a reality obvious to my senses, let 
me tell you once more, your worldly wisdom is but fool- 
ishness touching the things that are not worldly.' 

'Did you not look again upon the mirror?' said the 



*I did, when I had copied out the comfortable text, 
"Thou shalt tread down Satan under thy feet.'" 

'And what did you then see?' 

'The reflection of the same Joseph Albany,' said 
Holdenough, 'passing slowly as from behind my chair, 
the same in member and lineament that I had known 
him in his youth, excepting that his cheek had the marks 
of the more advanced age at which he died, and was very 

'What did you then?' 

'I turned from the glass, and plainly saw the figure 
which had made the reflection in the mirror retreating 
towards the door, not fast, nor slow, but with a gliding, 
steady pace. It turned again when near the door, and 
again showed me its pale, ghastly countenance, before it 
disappeared. But how it left the room, whether by the 
door or otherwise, my spirits were too much hurried to 
remark exactly; nor have I been able, by any effort of 
recollection, distinctly to remember.' 

'This is a strange, and, as coming from you, a most 
excellently well-attested apparition,' answered Everard. 
* And yet. Master Holdenough, if the other world has 
been actually displayed, as you apprehend, and I will 
not dispute the possibility, assure yourself there are 
also wicked men concerned in these machinations. I 
myself have undergone some rencontres with visitants 
who possessed bodily strength, and wore, I am sure, 
earthly weapons.' 

'Oh! doubtless — doubtless,' replied Master Hold- 
enough: 'Beelzebub loves to charge with horse and foot 
mingled, as was the fashion of the old Scottish general, 
Davie Leslie. He has his devils in the body as well as 



his devils disembodied, and uses the one to support and 
back the other.' 

'It maybe as you say, reverend sir,' answered the 
colonel. * But what do you advise in this case? ' 

'For that I must consult with my brethren,' said the 
divine ; ' and if there be but left in our borders five minis- 
ters of the true kirk, we will charge Satan in full body, 
and you shall see whether we have not power over him 
to resist till he shall flee from us. But failing that ghostly 
armament against these strange and unearthly enemies, 
truly I would recommend that, as a house of witch- 
craft and abomination, this polluted den of ancient 
tyranny and prostitution should be totally consumed by 
fire, lest Satan, establishing his headquarters so much 
to his mind, should find a garrison and a fastness from 
which he might sally forth to infest the whole neigh- 
bourhood. Certain it is, that I would recommend to 
no Christian soul to inhabit the mansion; and, if desert- 
ed, it would become a place for wizards to play their 
pranks, and witches to establish their Sabbath, and 
those who, like Demas, go about after the wealth of this 
world, seeking for gold and silver, to practise spells 
and charms to the prejudice of the souls of the covet- 
ous. Trust me, therefore, it were better that it were 
spoiled and broken down, not leaving one stone upon 

'I say nay to that, my good friend,' said the colonel; 
*for the Lord General hath permitted, by his license, 
my mother's brother, Sir Henry Lee, and his family, to 
return into the house of his fathers, being indeed the 
only roof under which he hath any chance of obtaining 
shelter for his grey hairs.' 



*And was this done by your advice, Markham Ever- 
ard?' said the divine, austerely. 

'Certainly it was,' returned the colonel. *And where- 
fore should I not exert mine influence to obtain a place 
of refuge for the brother of my mother? ' 

'Now, as sure as thy soul liveth,' answered the Pres- 
byter, 'I had believed this from no tongue but thine 
own. Tell me, was it not this very Sir Henry Lee who, 
by the force of his buff-coats and his green jerkins, en- 
forced the Papist Laud's order to remove the altar to 
the eastern end of the church at Woodstock? and did 
not he swear by his beard, that he would hang in the very 
street of Woodstock whoever should deny to drink the 
King's health? and is not his hand red with the blood 
of the saints? and hath there been a ruffler in the field 
for Prelacy and high prerogative more unmitigable or 
fiercer? ' 

'All this may have been as you say, good Master 
Holdenough,' said the colonel; 'but my uncle is now old 
and feeble, and hath scarce a single follower remaining, 
and his daughter is a being whom to look upon would 
make the sternest weep for pity — a being who — ' 

'Who is dearer to Everard,' said Holdenough, 'than 
his good name, his faith to his friends, his duty to his 
religion. This is no time to speak with sugared lips. The 
paths in which you tread are dangerous. You are striv- 
ing to raise the Papistical candlestick which Heaven in 
its justice removed out of its place — to bring back to 
this hall of sorceries those very sinners who are be- 
witched with them. I will not permit the land to be 
abused by their witchcrafts. The}'- shall not come hither.* 

He spoke this with vehemence, and striking his stick 



against the ground; and the colonel, very much dis- 
satisfied, began to express himself haughtily in return. 
'You had better consider your power to accomplish 
your threats. Master Holdenough,' he said, 'before you 
urge them so peremptorily.' 

'And have I not the power to bind and to loose? ' said 
the clergyman. 

' It is a power little available, save over those of your 
own church,' said Everard, with a tone something con- 

'Take heed — take heed,' said the divine, who, 
though an excellent, was, as we have elsewhere seen, an 
irritable, man. ' Do not insult me; but think honourably 
of the messenger, for the sake of Him whose commission 
he carries. Do not, I say, defy me: I am bound to dis- 
charge my duty, were it to the displeasing of my twin 

'I can see nought your office has to do in the matter,' 
said Colonel Everard ; ' and I, on my side, give you warn- 
ing not to attempt to meddle beyond your commission.' 

' Right — you hold me already to be as submissive as 
one of your grenadiers,' replied the clergyman, his acute 
features trembling with a sense of indignity, so as even 
to agitate his grey hair; 'but beware, sir, I am not so 
powerless as you suppose. I will invoke every true 
Christian in Woodstock to gird up his loins, and resist 
the restoration of Prelacy, oppression, and Malignancy 
within our borders. I will stir up the wrath of the 
righteous against the oppressor — the Ishmaelite — the 
Edomite — and against his race, and against those who 
support him and encourage him to rear up his horn. I 
will call aloud, and spare not, and arouse the many whose 



love hath waxed cold, and the multitude who care for 
none of these things. There shall be a remnant to lis- 
ten to me; and I will take the stick of Joseph, which was 
in the hand of Ephraim, and go down to cleanse this 
place of witches and sorcerers, and of enchantments, and 
will cry and exhort, saying, "Will you plead for Baal? 
will you serve him? Nay, take the prophets of Baal; 
let not a man escape.'" 

* Master Holdenough — Master Holdenough,' said 
Colonel Everard, with much impatience, 'by the tale 
yourself told me, you have exhorted upon that text once 
too often already.' 

The old man struck his palm forcibly against his fore- 
head and fell back into a chair as these words were ut- 
tered, as suddenly, and as much without power of re- 
sistance, as if the colonel had fired a pistol through his 
head. Instantly regretting the reproach which he had 
suffered to escape him in his impatience, Everard hast- 
ened to apologise, and to offer every conciliatory ex- 
cuse, however inconsistent, which occurred to him on the 
moment. But the old man was too deeply affected; 
he rejected his hand, lent no ear to what he said, and 
finally started up, saying sternly, 'You have abused my 
confidence, sir — abused it vilely, to turn it into my own 
reproach; had I been a man of the sword, you dared 
not. But enjoy your triumph, sir, over an old man, and 
your father's friend; strike at the wound his imprudent 
confidence showed you.' 

'Nay, my worthy and excellent friend — ' said the 

' Friend ! ' answered the old man, starting up. * We are 
foes, sir — foes now, and for ever.' 



So saying, and starting from the seat into which he 
had rather fallen than thrown himself, he ran out of the 
room with a precipitation of step which he was apt to 
use upon occasions of irritable feehng, and which was 
certainly more eager than dignified, especially as he 
muttered while he ran, and seemed as if he were keeping 
up his own passion by recounting over and over the 
offence which he had received. 

*Soh!' said Colonel Everard, 'and there was not strife 
enough between mine uncle and the people of Woodstock 
already, but I must needs increase it, by chafing this 
irritable and quick-tempered old man, eager as I knew 
him to be in his ideas of church-government, and stiff 
in his prejudices respecting all who dissent from him! 
The mob of Woodstock will rise; for though he would not 
get a score of them to stand by him in any honest or 
intelligible purpose, yet let him cry "havoc and destruc- 
tion," and I will warrant he has followers enow. And 
my uncle is equally wild and unpersuadable. For the 
value of all the estate he ever had, he would not allow 
a score of troopers to be quartered in the house for de- 
fence; and if he be alone, or has but Joceline to stand by 
him, he will be as sure to fire upon those who come to 
attack the lodge as if he had a hundred men in garrison; 
and then what can chance but danger and bloodshed?' 

This progress of melancholy anticipation was inter- 
rupted by the return of Master Holdenough, who, hurry- 
ing into the room with the same precipitate pace at 
which he had left it, ran straight up to the colonel, and 
said, 'Take my hand, Markham — take my hand hast- 
ily ; for the old Adam is whispering at my heart that it is 
a disgrace to hold it extended so long.' 



'Most heartily do I receive your hand, my venerable 
friend,' said Everard, 'and I trust in sign of renewed 

'Surely — surely,' said the divine, shaking his hand 
kindly; 'thou hast, it is true, spoken bitterly, but thou 
hast spoken truth in good time, and I think, though 
your words were severe, with a good and kindly purpose. 
Verily, and of a truth, it were sinful in me again to be 
hasty in provoking violence, remembering that which 
you have upbraided me with — ' 

'Forgive me, good Master Holdenough,' said Colonel 
Everard, 'it was a hasty word: I meant not in serious 
earnest to upbraid.' 

'Peace, I pray you — peace,' said the divine; 'I say, 
the allusion to that which you have most justly upbraided 
me with — though the charge aroused the gall of the old 
man within me, the inward tempter being ever on the 
watch to bring us to his lure — ought, instead of being 
resented, to have been acknowledged by me as a favour, 
for so are the wounds of a friend termed faithful. And 
surely I, who have by one unhappy exhortation to battle 
and strife sent the Uving to the dead, and, I fear, brought 
back even the dead among the living, should now study 
peace and goodwill, and reconciliation of difference, 
leaving punishment to the Great Being whose laws are 
broken, and vengeance to Him who hath said, "I will 
repay it.'" 

The old man's mortified features lighted up with a 
humble confidence as he made this acknowledgment; 
and Colonel Everard, who knew the constitutional in- 
firmities and the early prejudices of professional conse- 
quence and exclusive party opinion which he must have 



subdued ere arriving at such a tone of candour, hastened 
to express his admiration of his Christian charity, 
mingled with reproaches on himself for having so deeply- 
injured his feelings. 

* Think not of it — think not of it, excellent young 
man,' said Holdenough; 'we have both erred — I in 
suffering my zeal to outrun my charity; you, perhaps, 
in pressing hard on an old and peevish man, who had so 
lately poured out his sufferings into your friendly bosom. 
Be it all forgotten. Let your friends, if they are not 
deterred by what has happened at this manor of Wood- 
stock, resume their habitation as soon as they will. 
If they can protect themselves against the powers of 
the air, believe me that, if I can prevent it by aught in 
my power, they shall have no annoyance from earthly 
neighbours; and assure yourself, good sir, that my voice 
is still worth something with the worthy mayor, and 
the good aldermen, and the better sort of housekeepers 
up yonder in the town, although the lower classes are 
blown about with every wind of doctrine. And yet 
further, be assured, colonel, that, should your mother's 
brother, or any of his family, learn that they have 
taken up a rash bargain in returning to this unhappy and 
unhallowed house, or should they find any qualms in 
their own hearts and consciences which require a ghostly 
comforter, Nehemiah Holdenough will be as much at 
their command by night or day as if they had been bred 
up within the holy pale of the church in which he is an 
unworthy minister; and neither the awe of what is 
fearful to be seen within these walls, nor his know- 
ledge of their blinded and carnal state, as bred up un- 
der a prelatic dispensation, shall prevent him doing 



what lies in his poor abilities for their protection and 

*I feel all the force of your kindness, reverend sir,' 
said Colonel Everard, 'but I do not think it likely that 
my uncle will give you trouble on either score. He is 
a man much accustomed to be his own protector in 
temporal danger, and in spiritual doubts to trust to his 
own prayers and those of his church,' 

' I trust I have not been superfluous in offering mine 
assistance,' said the old man, something jealous that 
his proffered spiritual aid had been held rather intrusive. 
' I ask pardon if that is the case — I humbly ask pardon; 
I would not wiUingly be superfluous.' 

The colonel hastened to appease this new alarm of the 
watchful jealousy of his consequence, which, joined with 
a natural heat of temper which he could not always sub- 
due, were the good man's only faults. 

They had regained their former friendly footing, 
when Roger Wildrake returned from the hut of Joceline, 
and whispered his master that his embassy had been 
successful. The colonel then addressed the divine, and 
informed him that, as the Commissioners had already 
given up Woodstock, and as his uncle. Sir Henry Lee, 
proposed to return to the lodge about noon, he would, 
if his reverence pleased, attend him up to the borough. 

'Will you not tarry,' said the reverend man, with 
something Uke inquisitive apprehension in his voice, * to 
welcome your relatives upon their return to this their 
house? ' 

'No, my good friend,' said Colonel Everard; 'the 
part which I have taken in these unhappy broils, perhaps 
also the mode of worship in which I have been educated, 



have so prejudiced me in mine uncle's opinion, that I 
must be for some time a stranger to his house and family. ' 

* Indeed ! I rejoice to hear it, with all my heart and 
soul,' said the divine. 'Excuse my frankness — I do 
indeed rejoice; I had thought — no matter what I had 
thought, I would not again give offence. But truly, 
though the maiden hath a pleasant feature, and he, as 
all men say, is in human things unexceptionable, yet — 
but I give you pain — in sooth, I will say no more unless 
you ask my sincere and unprejudiced advice, which you 
shall command, but which I will not press on you super- 
fluously. Wend we to the borough together; the pleas- 
ant solitude of the forest may dispose us to open our 
hearts to each other.' 

They did walk up to the little town in company, and, 
somewhat to Master Holdenough's surprise, the colonel, 
though they talked on various subjects, did not request 
of him any ghostly advice on the subject of his love to his 
fair cousin, while, greatly beyond the expectation of the 
soldier, the clergyman kept his word, and, in his own 
phrase, was not so superfluous as to offer upon so deli- 
cate a point his unasked counsel. 



No. I 






[Printed in the yeer 1649. 4to] 

It were a wonder if one writes, 
And not of wonders and strange sights; 
For ev'ry where such things affrights 
Poore people. 

That men are ev'n at their wits' end. 
God judgments ev'ry where doth send, 
And yet we don't our lives amend, 
But tipple, 

And sweare, and lie, and cheat, and — , 
Because the world shall drown no more. 
As if no judgments were in store 
But water; 

But by the stories which I tell, 
You '11 heare of terrors come from hell. 
And fires, and shapes most terrible 
For matter. 

It is not long since that a child 
Spake from the ground in a large field. 
And made the people almost wild 

That heard it, 

Of which there is a printed book. 
Wherein each man the truth may look; 
If children speak, the matter 's took 
For verdict. 

But this is stranger than that voice. 
The wonder 's greater, and the noyse; 
And things appeare to men, not boyes. 
At Woodstock; 

Where Rosamond had once a bower. 
To keep her from Queen Elinour, 
And had escap'd her poys'nous power 
By good luck. 

But fate had otherwise decreed, 
And Woodstock Manner saw a deed, 
Which is in Hollinshed or Speed 


But neither Hollinshed nor Stow, 
Nor no historians such things show, 
Though in them wonders we well know 
Are pickled; 

For nothing else is history 

But pickle of antiquity. 

Where things are kept in memory 

From stincking. 

Which otherwaies would have lain dead. 
As in oblivion buried. 
Which now you may call into head 
With thinking. 

The dreadfuU story, which is true. 
And now committed unto view. 
By better pen, had it its due. 

Should see light; 

But I, contented, doe indite. 
Not things of v.'it, but things of right; 
You can't expect that things that fright 
Should delight. 



O hearken, therefore, harke and shake 
My very pen and hand doth quake! 
While I the true relation make 

O' th' wonder. 

Which hath long time, and still appeares 
Unto the State's Commissioners, 
And puts them in their beds to feares 
From under. 

They come, good men, imploi'd by th' 

To sell the lands of Charles the late, 
And there they lay, and long did waite 
For chapmen. 

Aproach of day did cleere the doubt, 
For all devotions were run out. 
They now waxt strong and something 

One peaked 

Under the bed, but nought was there; 
Hee view'd the chamber ev'ry where, 
Nothing apear'd but what, for feare. 
They leaked. 

Their stomachs then return'd apace, 
They found the mutton in the place, 
And fell unto it with a grace. 

They laughed 

You may have easy pen'worths, woods, £ach at the other's pannick feare. 

Lands, ven'son, householdstuf, and goods; And each his bedfellow did jeere. 

They little thought of dogs that wou'd And having sent for ale and beere. 
There snap men. They quaffed. 

But when they'd sup'd, and fully fed, 
They set up remnants and to bed. 
Where scarce they had laid down a head 
To slumber. 

But that their beds were heav'd on high; 
They thought some dog under did lie. 
And meant i' th' chamber (fie, fie, fie,) 
To scumber. 

Some thought the cunning cur did mean 
To eat their mutton (which was lean) 
Reserv'd for breakfast, for the men 
Were thrifty; 

And up one rises in his shirt, 
Intending the slie cur to hurt. 
And forty thrusts made at him for 't, 
Or fifty. 

But empty came his sword again, 
He found hee thrust but all in vain; 
The mutton safe, hee went amain 
To 's fellow. 

And then abroad the summons went. 
Who'll buy king's-land o' th' Parli'ment? 
A paper-book contein'd the rent. 

Which lay there; 

That did contein the severall farmes. 
Quit-rents, knight services, and armes; 
But that they came not in by swarmes 
To pay there. 

Night doth invite to bed again, 
The grand Commissioners were lain, 
But then the thing did heave amain, 
It busied, 

And with great clamor fil'd their eares. 
The noyse was doubled, and their feares; 
Nothing was standing but their haires. 
They nuzled. 

Oft were the blankets pul'd, the sheete 
Was closely twin'd betwixt their feete. 
It seems the spirit was discreete 
And civill. 

And now (assured all was well) 
The bed again began to swell. 
The men were frighted, and did smell 
O' th' yellow. 

From heaving, now the cloaths it pluckt; 
The men, for feare, together stuck, 
And in their sweat each other duck't. 
They wished 

A thousand times that it were day; 
"T is sure the divell! Let us pray.' 
They pray'd amain ; and as they say, 

Which makes the poore Commissioners 
Feare they shall get but small arreares, 
And that there 's yet for Cavaliers 
One divell. 

They cast about what best to doe; 
Next day they would to wise men goe. 
To neighb'ring towns som cours to know; 
For schollars 

Come not to Woodstock, as before, 
And Allen 's dead as a nayle-doore, 
And so 's old John (eclep'd the poore) 
His follower. 



Rake Oxford o're, there's not a man 
That rayse or lay a spirit can, 
Or use the circle, or the wand, 

Or conjure; 

Or can say Boh! unto a divell. 
Or to a goose that is uncivil), 
Nor where Keimbolton purg'd out evill, 
'T is sin sure. 

There were two villages hard by, 
With teachers of presbytery, 
Who knew the house was hidiously 

But 'lasse! their new divinity 
Is not so deep, or not so high; 
Their witts doe (as their meanes did) lie 

But Master Joffman was the wight 
Which was to exorcise the spright; 
Hee'U preach and pray you day and 

At pleasure. 

And by that painfull gainfuU trade, 
He hath himsclfe full wealthy made; 
Great store of guilt he hath, 't is said, 
And treasure. 

Some other way they cast about, 
These brought him in, they throw not 

A woman, great with child, will do 't; 
They got one. 

And she i' th' room that night must lie; 
But when the thing about did flie, 
And broke the windows furiously. 
And hot one 

Of the contractors o're the head. 
Who lav securely in bis bed, 
The woman, shee-affrighted, fled, 

And now they lay the cause on her, 
That e're that night the thing did stir, 
Because her selfe and grandfather 
Were Papists ; 

They must be barnes-regenerate 
(A Ilans en Kclder of the state, 
Which was in reformation gatt), 

They said, which 

Doth make the divell stand in awe. 
Pull in his homes, his hoof, his claw ; 
But having none, they did in draw 

But no intreaty of his friends 
Could get him to the house of fiends. 
He came not over for such ends 

From Dutch-land; 

But worse divinity hee brought. 
And hath us reformation taught, 
And, with our money, he hath bought 
Him much land. 

But in the night there was such worke, 
The spirit swaggered like a Turke; 
The bitch had spi'd where it did lurke, 
And howled 

In such a wofull manner, that 
Their very hearts went pit a pat; 

Had the old parsons preached still. 
The div'l should nev'r have had his wil; 
But those that had or art or skill 
Are outed; 

And those to whom the pow'r was giv'n 
Of driving spirits are out-driv'n; 
Their colledges dispos'd, and livings. 
To grout-heads. 

There was a justice who did boast, 
Hee had as great a gift almost, 
Who did desire him to accost 
This evill; 

But hee would not employ his gifts, 
But found out many sleights and shifts; 
Hee had no prayers, nor no snifts. 
For th' divell. 

The stately rooms, where kings once lay; 
But the contractors shew'd the way. 
But mark what now I tell you, pray, 
'T is worth it. 

That book I told you of before. 
Wherein were tenants written store, 
A register for many more 

Not forth yet; 

That very book, as it did lie. 
Took of a flame, no mortall eye 
Seeing one jot of fire thereby, 
Or taper; 

For all the candles about flew, 
And those that burned, burned blew. 
Never kept soldiers such a doe 
Or vaper. 



The book thus burnt and none knew how, And all the windows batter'd are, 

The poore contractors made a vow No man the quarter enter dare; 

To worke no more; this spoil'd their plow All men (except the glasier) 

In that place. Doe grumble. 

Some other part o' th' house they'll find 
To which the devill hath no mind, 
But hee, it seems, is not inclin'd 

With that grace. 

But other prancks it plaid elsewhere. 
An oake there was stood many a yeere, 
Of goodly growth as any where. 

Was hewn down. 

Which into fewell-wood was cut, 
And some into a wood-pile put. 
But it was hurled all about 

And thrown down. 

In sundry formes it doth appeare; 
Now like a grasping claw to teare; 
Now like a dog, anon a beare. 
It tumbles; 

Once in the likenesse of a woman. 
Of stature much above the common, 
'T was seene, but spak a word to no man, 
And vanish'd. 

'T is thought the ghost of some good wife 
Whose husband was depriv'd of life. 
Her children cheated, land in strife 
She banist. 

No man can tell the cause of these 
So wondrous dreadfuU outrages; 
Yet if upon your sinne you please 
To discant. 

You 'le find our actions out doe hell's; 
O wring your hands and cease the bellSi 
Repentance must, or nothing else 
Appease cao't. 

No. II 



[London, printed in the year 1660. 4to.] 

The names of the persons in the ensuing Narrative mentioned, 
with others: — 

Captain Cockaine. Mr. Crook, the Lawyer. 

Captain Hart. Mr. Browne, the Surveyor. 

Captain Crook. Their three Servants. 

Captain Carelesse. Their Ordinary-keeper, and others. 

Captain Roe. The Gatekeeper, with the Wife and Servants. 

Besides many more, who each night heard the noise, as Sir Ger- 
rard Fleetwood and his lady, with his family; Mr. Hyans, with his 
family; and several others, who lodged in the outer courts; and 
during the three last nights, the inhabitants of Woodstock town 
and other neighbor villages. 

And there were many more, both divines and others, who came 
out of the country, and from Oxford, to see the glass and stones 
and other stuffe the devil had brought, wherewith to beat out the 
Commissioners; the marks upon some walls remain, and many, 
this to testifie. 


Since it hath pleased the Almighty God, out of His infinite 
mercy, so to make us happy, by restoring of our native king to us, 
and us unto our native liberty through him, that now the good 
may say, magna kmporum felicUas ubi seniire qua velis, et dicere 



licet qutz sentias, we cannot but esteem ourselves engaged, in the 
highest of degrees, to render unto Him the highest thanks we can 
express, although, surpris'd with joy, we become as lost in the per- 
formance, when gladness and admiration strikes us silent, as we 
look back upon the precipiece of our late condition, and those 
miraculous deliverances beyond expression, freed from the slavery 
and those desperate perils we dayly lived in fear of, during the 
tyrannicall times of that detestable usurper, Oliver Cromwell; 
he who had raked up such judges as would wrest the most inno- 
cent language into high treason, when he had the cruel conscience 
to take away our lives, upon no other ground of justice or reason 
(the stones of London streets would rise to witness it, if all the 
citizens were silent) ; and with these judges had such councillors 
as could advise him unto worse, which will less want of witness. 
For should the many auditors be silent, the press, as God would 
have it, hath given it us in print, where one of them, and his con- 
science-keeper, too, speaks out, 'What shall we do with these 
men?' saith he: ^Eger intemperans crudelem facit medicum, et im- 
medicahile vulnus ense reddendum. Who these men are that should 
be brought to such Sicilian Vespers, the former page sets forth — 
those which conceit Utopias, and have their day-dreams of the 
return of I know not what golden age, with the old line. What 
usage, when such a privy councillor had power, could he expect, 
who then had published this narrative? This, which so plainly 
shows the devil himself dislikt their doings (so much more bad 
were they then he would have them be) , severer sure then was the 
devil to their Commissioners at Woodstock; for he warned them, 
with dreadful noises, to drive them from their work. This council- 
lor, without more ado, would have all who retain'd conceits of 
allegiance to their soveraign to be absolutely cut off by the 
usurper's sword. A sad sentence for a loyal party to a lawful king. 
But Heaven is always just; the party is repriv'd, and do acknow- 
ledge the hand of God in it, as is rightly applyed, and as justly 
sensible of their deliverance, in that the foundation, which this 
councellor saith was already so well laid, is now turned up, and 
what he calls day-dreams are come to passe. That old line, which 
(as with him) there seemed aliqiiid divini to the contrary, is now 
restored. And that rock which, as he saith, the prelates and all 
their adherents, nay, and their master and supporter, too, with all 
his posterity, have split themselves upon, is nowhere to be heard. 
And that posterity are safely arrived in their ports, and masters 
of that mighty navy, their enemies so much encreased to keep 



them out with. The eldest sits upon the throne, his place by birth- 
right and descent, 

Pacatumque regit patriis virtutibus orbem; 

upon which throne long may he sit, and reign in peace, that by his 
just government the enemies of ours, the true Protestant Church, 
of that glorious martyr, our late soveraign, and of his royal pos- 
terity, may be either absolutely converted or utterly confounded. 

If any shall now ask thee why this narrative was not sooner 
published, as neerer to the times wherein the things were acted, 
he hath the reason for it in the former lines; which will the more 
dearly appear imto his apprehension, if he shall perpend how 
much cruelty is requisite to the maintenance of rebellion, and how 
great care is necessary in the supporters, to obviate and divert 
the smallest things that tend to the unblinding of the people; so 
that it needs will follow that they must have accounted this 
amongst the great obstructions to their sales of his ^Majestie's 
lands, the devil not joining with them in the security; and greater 
to the pulling down the royal pallaces, when their chapmen should 
conceit the devil would haunt them in their houses, for building 
with so ill got materials; as no doubt but that he hath, so numer- 
ous and confident are the relations made of the same, though scarce 
any so totally remarkeable as this (if it be not that others have 
been more concealed), in regard of the strange circumstances as 
long continuances, but especially the number of the persons to- 
gether, to whom all things were so visibly both seen and done, 
so that surely it exceeds any other; for the devils thus manifesting 
themselves, it appears evidently that there are such things as 
devils to persecute the wicked in this world as in the next. 

Now, if to these were added the diverse reall phantasms seen 
at Whitehall in Cromwell's times, which caused him to keep such 
mighty guards in and about his bedchamber, and yet so oft to 
change his lodgings; if those things done at St. James, where the 
devil so joal 'd the centinels against the sides of the queen's chap- 
pell doors, that some of them fell sick upon it, and, others not tak- 
ing warning by it, kild one outright, whom they buried in the 
place, and all other such dreadful things, those that inhabited 
the royal houses have been affrighted with. 

And if to these were likewise added a relation of all those re- 
gicides and their abettors the devil hath entred into, as he did 
the Gadarenes' swine, with so many more of them who hath 
fallen mad and dyed in hideous forms of such distractions — 



that which hath been of this within these 1 2 last years in Eng- 
land (should all of this nature our chronicles do tell, with all the 
superstitious monks have writ, be put together) would make the 
greater volume, and of more strange occurrents. 

And now as to the penman of this narrative, know that he was 
a divine, and at the time of those things acted, which are here 
related, the minister and schoolmaster of Woodstock; a person 
learned and discreet, not byassed with factious humours, his name 
Widows, who each day put in writing what he heard from their 
mouthes, and such things as they told to have befallen them the 
night before, therein keeping to their own words; and, never think- 
ing that what he had writ should happen to be made publick, gave 
it no better dress to set it forth. And because to do it now shall not 
be construed to change the story, the reader hath it here accord- 
ingly exposed. 


The i6th day of October, in the year of our Lord 1649, the Com- 
missioners for surveying and valuing his Majestie's mannor house, 
parks, woods, deer, demesnes, and all things thereunto belong- 
ing, by name Captain Crook, Captain Hart, Captain Cockaine, 
Captain Carelesse, and Captain Roe, their messenger, with Mr. 
Browne, their secretary, and two or three servants, went from 
Woodstock town, where they had lain some nights before, and 
took up their lodgings in his Majestie's house after this manner: 
— The bed-chamber and withdrawing-room they both lodged 
in and made their kitchen, the presence-chamber their room for 
dispatch of their business with all commers, of the council-hall 
their brew-house, as of the dining-room their wood-house, where 
they laid in the clefts of that antient standard in the High-Park, 
for many ages beyond memory known by the name of the King's 
Oak, which they had chosen out, and caused to be dug up by the 

October 17. — About the middle of the night, these new guests 
were first awaked by a knocking at the presence-chamber door, 
which they also conceived did open, and something to enter, 
which came through the room, and also walkt about that room 
with a heavy step during half an hour, then crept under the bed 
where Captain Hart and Captain Carelesse lay, where it did seem 
(as it were) to bite and gnaw the mat and bed-coards, as if it would 
tear and rend the feather beds; which having done a while, then 



would heave a while, and rest; then heave them up again in the 
bed more high than it did before, sometime on the one side, some- 
time on the other, as if it had tried which captain was heaviest. 
Thus having heaved some half an hour, from thence it walkt out 
and went under the servants' bed, and did the like to them; hence 
it walkt into a withdrawing-room, and there did the same to all 
who lodged there. Thus, having welcomed them for more than 
two hours' space, it walkt out as it came in, and shut the outer 
door again, but with a clap of some mightie force. These guests 
were in a sweat all this while, but out of it falling into a sleep again, 
it became morning first before they spake their minds; then would 
they have it to be a dog, yet they described it more to the likeness 
of a great bear; so fell to the examining under the beds, where, 
finding only the mats scracht, but the bed-coards whole, and the 
quarter of beef which lay on the floor untoucht, they entertained 
other thoughts. 

October i8. — They were all awaked as the night before, and 
now conceived that they heard all the great clefts of the King's 
Oak brought into the presence-chamber, and there thumpt down, 
and after roul about the room; they could hear their chairs and 
stools tost from one side of the room unto the other, and then 
(as it were) altogether josled. Thus having done an hour to- 
gether, it walkt into the withdrawing-room, where lodged the two 
captains, the secretary, and two servants; here stopt the thing 
a while, as if it did take breath, but raised a hideous one, then 
walkt into the bed-chamber, where lay those as before, and un- 
der the bed it went, where it did heave and heave again, that now 
they in bed were put to catch hold upon bed-posts, and some- 
times one of the other, to prevent their being tumbled out upon 
the ground; then coming out as from under the bed, and taking 
hold upon the bed-posts, it would shake the whole bed, almost as 
if a cradle rocked. Thus having done here for half an hour, it 
went into the withdrawing-room, where first it came and stood at 
the bed's feet, and heaving up the bed's feet, flopt down again 
a while, until at last it heaved the feet so high that those in bed 
thought to have been set upon their heads; and having thus for 
two hours entertained them, went out as in the night before, but 
with a great noise. 

October 19. — This night they awaked not until the midst of 
the night ; they perceived the room to shake with something that 
walkt about the bed-chamber, which having done so a while, it 
walkt into a withdrawing-room, where it took up a brasse warm- 



ing-pan, and returning with it into the bed-chamber, therein made 
so loud a noise, in these captains' own words, it was as loud and 
scurvie as a ring of five untuned bells rung backward; but the 
captains, not to seem afraid, next day made mirth of what had 
past, and jested at the devil in the pan, 

October 20. — These captains and their company, still lodging 
as before, were awakened in this night, with some things flying 
about the rooms, and out of one room into the other, as thrown 
with some great force. Captain Hart, being in a slumber, was 
taken by the shoulder and shaked until he did sit up in his bed, 
thinking that it had been one of his fellows, when suddenly he was 
taken on the pate with a trencher, that it made him shrink down 
into the bed-clothes, and all of them in both rooms kept their 
heads at least within their sheets, so fiercely did three dozen of 
trenchers fly about the rooms; yet Captain Hart ventured again 
to peep out to see what was the matter, and what it was that 
threw, but then the trenchers came so fast and neer about his 
ears, that he was fain quickly to couch again. In the morning 
they found all their trenchers, pots, and spits upon and about 
their beds, and all such things as were of common use scattered 
about the rooms. This night there was also, in several parts of 
the room and outer rooms, such noises of beating at doors and 
on the walls, as if that several smiths had been at work; and yet 
our captains shrunk not from their work, but went on in that, and 
lodged as they had done before. 

October 21. — About midnight they heard great knocking at 
every door ; after a while the doors flew open, and into the with- 
drawing-room entered something as of a mighty proportion, the 
figure of it they knew not how to describe. This walkt awhile about 
the room shaking the floor at every step, then came it up close to 
the bedside where lay Captains Crook and Carelesse; and after a 
little pause, as it were, the bed-curtains, both at sides and feet, 
were drawn up and down slowly, then faster again for a quarter 
of an hour, then from end to end as fast as imagination can fancie 
the running of the rings, then shaked it the beds, as if the joints 
thereof had crackt; then walkt the thing into the bedchamber, 
and so plaied with those beds there; then took up eight peuter 
dishes, and bouled them about the room and over the servants 
in the truckle-beds; then sometimes were the dishes taken up and 
thrown crosse the high beds and against the walls, and so much 
battered; but there were more dishes wherein was meat in the 
same room, that were not at all removed. During this, in the 



presence-chamber there was stranger noise of weightie things 
thrown down, and, as they supposed, the clefts of the King's Oak 
did roul about the room, yet at the wonted hour went away, and 
left them to take rest such as they could. 

October 22. — Hath mist of being set down; the officers, im- 
ployed in their work farther off, came not that day to Wood- 

October 23. — Those that lodged in the withdrawing-room, in 
the midst of the night were awakened with the cracking of fire, 
as if it had been with thorns and sparks of fire burning, where- 
upon they supposed that the bedchamber had taken fire, and 
listning to it farther, they heard their fellows in bed sadly groan, 
which gave them to suppose they might be sufifocated; wherefore 
they called upon their servants to make all possible hast to help 
them. When the two servants were come in, they found all asleep, 
and so brought back word, but that there were no bed clothes 
upon them ; wherefore they were sent back to cover them, and to 
stir up and mend the fire. When the servants had covered them 
and were come to the chimney, in the comers they found their 
wearing-apparel, boots, and stockings, but they had no sooner 
toucht the embers, when the firebrands flew about their ears so 
fast, that away they ran into the other room for the shelter of 
their cover-lids; then after them walkt something that stampt 
about the room as if it had been exceeding angry, and likewise 
threw about the trenchers, platters, and all such things in the 
room ; after two hours went out, yet stampt again over their heads. 

October 24. — They lodged all abroad. 

October 25. — This afternoon was come unto them Mr. Richard 
Crook the lawyer, brother to Captain Crook, and now deputy- 
steward of the mannor unto Captain Parsons and Major Bptler, 
who had put out Mr. Hyans, his Majestie's officer. To entertain 
this new guest, the Commissioners caused a very great fire to be 
made, of neer the chimney-full of wood of the King's Oak, and he 
was lodged in the withdrawing-room with his brother, and his serv- 
ant in the same room. About the midst of the night a wonderful 
knocking was heard, and into the room something did rush, which, 
coming to the chimney-side, dasht out the fire as with the stamp 
of some prodigious foot, then threw down such weighty stuffe, 
what ere it was (they took it to be the residue of the clefts and 
roots of the King's Oak), close by the bedside, that the house and 
bed shook with it. Captain Cockain and his fellow arose, and 
took their swords to go unto the Crooks. The noise ceased at their 



rising, so that they came to the door and called. The two brothers, 
though fully awaked, and heard them call, were so amazed, that 
they made no answer until Captain Cockaine had recovered the 
boldness to call very loud, and came unto the bedside; then faintly 
first, after some more assurance, they came to understand one 
another, and comforted the lawyer. Whilst this was thus, no noise 
was heard, which made them think the time was past of that 
night's troubles, so that, after some little conference, they applied 
themselves to take some rest. When Captain Cockaine was come 
to his own bed, which he had left open, he found it closely 
covered, which he much wondered at; but turning the clothes 
down, and opening it to get in, he found the lower sheet strewed 
over with trenchers. Their whole three dozens of trenchers were or- 
derly disposed between the sheets, which he and his fellow en- 
deavouring to cast out, such noise arose about the room, that they 
were glad to get into bed with some of the trenchers. The noise 
lasted a full half-hour after this. This entertainment so ill did like 
the lawyer, and being not so well studied in the point as to re- 
solve this the devil's law case, that he next day resolved to be gone; 
but having not dispatcht all that he came for, profit and perswa- 
sions prevailed with him to stay the other hearing, so that he 
lodged as he did the night before. 

October 26. — This night each room was better furnished with 
fire and candle than before ; yet about twelve at night came some- 
thing in that dasht all out, then did walk about the room, making 
a noise, not to be set forth by the comparison with any other 
thing; sometimes came it to the bedsides and drew the curtains 
to and fro, then twerle them, then walk about again, and return 
to the bed-posts, shake them with all the bed, so that they in bed 
were put to hold one upon the other, then walk about the room 
again, and come to the servants' bed, and gnaw and scratch the 
wainscot head, and shake altogether in that room; at the time of 
this being in doing, they in the bedchamber heard such strange 
dropping down from the roof of the room, that they supposed 
't was like the fall of money by the sound. Captain Cockaine, 
not frightened with so small a noise (and lying near the chimney), 
stept out, and made shift to light a candle, by the light of which 
he perceived the room strewed over with broken glass, green, and 
some of it as it were pieces of broken bottles; he had not long been 
considering what it was, when suddenly his candle was hit out, 
and glass flew about the room, that he made haste to the protec- 
tion of the coverlets; the noise of thundering rose more hideous 



then at any time before; yet, at a certain time, all vanisht into 
calmness. The morning after was the glass about the room, 
which the maid that was to make clean the rooms swept up into 
a corner, and many came to see it. But Mr. Richard Crook would 
stay no longer, yet as he stopt, going through Woodstock town, 
he was heard there to say, that he would not lodge amongst them 
another night for a fee of £500. 

October 27. — The Commissioners had not yet done their work, 
wherefore they must stay; and being all men of the sword, they 
must not seem afraid to encounter with any thing, though it be 
the devil; therefore, with pistols charged, and drawn swords laied 
by their bedsides, they applied themselves to take some rest, when 
something in the midst of night so opened and shut the window 
casements with such claps, that it awakened all that slept; some 
of them peeping out to look what was the matter with the win- 
dows, stones flew about the rooms as if hurled with many hands; 
some hit the walls, and some the beds' heads close above the pil- 
lows, the dints of which were then, and yet (it is conceived) are 
to be seen, thus sometime throwing stones, and sometime mak- 
ing thundering noise, for two hours space. It ceast, and all was 
quiet till the morn. After their rising, and the maid come in to 
make the fire, they looked about the rooms; they found fourscore 
stones brought in that night, and going to lay them together in 
the corner where the glass (before mentioned) had been swept up, 
they found that every piece of glass had been carried away that 
night. Many people came next day to see the stones, and all ob- 
served that they were not of such kind of stones as are naturall 
in the countrey thereabout ; with these were noise like claps of 
thunder, or report of cannon planted against the rooms, heard by 
all that lodged in the outer courts, to their astonishment and at 
Woodstock town, taken to be thunder. 

October 28. — This night, both strange and differing noise from 
the former first wakened Captain Hart, who lodged in the bed- 
chamber, who, hearing Roe and Browne to groan, called out to 
Cockaine and Crook to come and help them, for Hart could not 
now stir himself; Cockaine would faine have answered, but he 
could not, or look about; something, he thought, stopt both his 
breath and held down his eyelids. Amazed thus, he struggles and 
kickt about, till he had awaked Captain Crook, who, half asleep, 
grew very angry at his kicks and multiplied words. It grew to an 
appointment in the field; but this fully recovered Cockaine to re- 
member that Captain Hart had called for help, wherefore to them 



he ran in the other room, whom he found sadly groaning, where, 
scraping in the chimney, he both found a candle and fire to light 
it; but had not gone two steps, when something blew the candle 
out, and threw him in the chair by the bedside, when presently 
cried out Captain Carelesse, with a most pittiful voice, ' Come 
hither — Ocomehither, brother Cockaine, the thing's gone of me.' 
Cockaine, scarce yet himself, helpt to set him up in his bed, and 
after Captain Hart, and having scarce done that to them, and 
also to the other two, they heard Captain Crook crying out, as if 
something had been killing him. Cockaine snacht up the sword 
that lay by their bed, and ran into the room to save Crook, but 
was in much more likelyhood to kill him, for at his coming, the 
thing that pressed Crook went of him, at which Crook started 
out of his bed, whom Cockaine thought a spirit, made at him, at 
which Crook cried out, 'Lord help — Lord save me.' Cockaine 
let fall his hand, and Crook, embracing Cockaine, desired his 
reconcilement, giving him many thanks for his deliverance. Then 
rose they all and came together, discoursed sometimes godly and 
sometimes praied, for all this while was there such stamping over 
the roof of the house, as if looo horse had there been trotting; this 
night all the stones brought in the night before, and laid up in the 
withdrawing-room, were all carried again away by that which 
brought them in, which at the wonted time left of, and, as it were, 
went out, and so away. 

October 29. — Their businesse having now received so much 
forwardnesse as to be neer dispatcht, they encouraged one the 
other, and resolved to try further; therefore, they provided more 
lights and fires, and further, for their assistance, prevailed with 
their ordinary-keeper to lodge amongst them, and bring his mas- 
tive bitch; and it was so this night with them, that they had no 
disturbance at all. 

October 30. — So well they had past the night before, that this 
night they went to bed confident and carelesse; untill about twelve 
of the clock, something knockt at the door as with a smith's great 
hammer, but with such force as if it had cleft the door; then ent'red 
something like a bear, but seem'd to swell more big, and walkt 
about the room, and out of one room into the other, treading so 
heavily, as the floare had not been strong enough to bear it. When 
it came into the bedchamber, it dasht against the beds' heads some 
kind of glass vessell, that broke in sundry pieces, and sometimes 
would take up those pieces and hurle them about the room, and 
into the other room; and when it did not hurle the glasse at their 



heads, it did strike upon the tables, as if many smiths, with their 
greatest hammers, had been laying on as upon an anvil; sometimes 
it thumpt against the walls as if it would beat a hole through; 
then upon their heads, such stamping, as if the roof of the house 
were beating down upon their heads; and having done thus, dur- 
ing the space (as was conjectured) of two hours, it ceased and 
vanished, but with a more fierce shutting of the doors then at any 
time before. In the morning they found the pieces of glass about 
the room, and observed that it was much differing from that glasse 
brought in three nights before, this being of a much thicker sub- 
stance, which severall persons which came in carried away some 
pieces of. The Commissioners were in debate of lodging there no 
more; but all their businesse was not done, and some of them, were 
so conceited as to believe, and to attribute the rest they enjoyed, 
the night before this last, unto the mastive bitch; wherefore, they 
resolved to get more company, and the mastive bitch, and try 
another night. 

October 31. — This night, the fires and lights prepared, the or- 
dinary-keeper and his bitch, with another man perswaded by him, 
they all took their beds and fell asleep. But about twelve at night, 
such rapping was on all sides of them, that it wakened all of them; 
as the doors did seem to open, the mastive bitch fell fearfully 
a-yelling, and presently ran fiercely into the bed to them in the 
truckle-bed; as the thing came by the table, it struck so fierce 
a blow on that, as that it made the frame to crack, then took the 
warming-pan from off the table, and stroke it against the walls 
with so much force as that it was beat flat together, lid and bot- 
tom. Now were they hit as they lay covered over head and ears 
within the bed-clothes. Captain Carelesse was taken a sound 
blow on the head with the shoulder-blade bone of a dead horse 
(before they had been but thrown at, when they peept up, and 
mist) ; Browne had a shrewed blow on the leg with the backbone, 
and another on the head; and every one of them felt severall blows 
of bones and stones through the bed-clothes, for now these things 
were thrown as from an angry hand that meant further mischief; 
the stones flew in at window as shot out of a gun, nor was the 
bursts lesse (as from without) then of a cannon, and all the win- 
dows broken down. Now as the hurling of the things did cease, 
and the thing walkt up and down, Captain Cockaine and Hart 
cried out, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, what 
are you? What would you have? What have we done that you 
disturb us thus? No voice replied, as the captains said, yet some 

87 321 


of their servants have said otherwise, and the noise ceast. Here- 
upon Captain Hart and Cockaine rose, who lay in the bedchamber, 
renewed the fire and lights, and one great candle, in a candlestick, 
they placed in the door, that might be seen by them in both the 
rooms. No sooner were they got to bed, but the noise arose on 
all sides more loud and hideous than at any time before, inso- 
much as (to use the captain's own words) it returned and brought 
seven devils worse than itself; and presently they saw the candle 
and candlestick in the passage of the door dasht up to the roof 
of the room by a kick of the hinder parts of a horse, and after with 
the hoof trode out the snuff, and so dasht out the fire in the chim- 
nies. As this was done, there fell, as from the sieling, upon them in 
the truckle-beds, such quantities of water, as if it had been poured 
out of buckets, which stunk worse than any earthly stink could 
make; and as this was in doing, something crept under the high 
beds, tost them up to the roof of the house, with the Commission- 
ers in them, until the testers of the beds were beaten down upon 
and the bedsted-frames broke under them; and here some pause 
being made, they all, as if with one consent, started up, and ran 
down the stairs until they came into the Councel Hall, where two 
sate up a-brewing, but now were fallen asleep; those they scared 
much with wakening of them, having been much perplext before 
with the strange noise, which commonly was taken by them abroad 
for thunder, sometimes for rumbling wind. Here the Captains and 
their company got fire and candle, and everyone carrjdng some- 
thing of either, they returned into the Presence Chamber, where 
some applied themselves to make the fire, whilst others fell to 
prayers, and having got some clothes about them, they spent the 
residue of the night in singing psalms and prayers; during which, 
no noise was in that room, but most hideously round about, as at 
some distance. 

It should have been told before, how that, when Captain Hart 
first rose this night (who lay in the bedchamber next the fire), he 
found their book of valuations crosse the embers smoaking, which 
he snacht up and cast upon the table there, which the night before 
was left upon the table in the presence amongst their other papers. 
This book was in the morning found a handful burnt, and had 
burnt the table where it lay; Browne, the clerk, said, he would not 
for a ICO and a £ioo that it had been burnt a handful further. 

This night it happened that there were six cony-stealers, who 
were come with their nets and ferrets to the cony-burrows by 
Rosamond's Well; but with the noise this night from the mannor- 



house, they were so terrified, that like men distracted away they 
ran, and left their haies all ready pitched, ready up, and the fer- 
rets in the cony-burrows. 

Now the Commissioners, more sensible of their danger, con- 
sidered more seriously of their safety, and agreed to go and confer 
with Mr. Hoffman, the minister of Wotton (a man not of the 
meanest note for life or learning, by some esteemed more high), 
to desire his advice, together with his company and prayers. Mr. 
Hoffman held it too high a point to resolve on suddenly and by 
himself, wherefore desired time to consider upon it, which being 
agreed unto, he forthwith rode to Mr. Jenkinson and Mr. Wheat, 
the two next justices of peace, to try what warrant they could give 
him for it. They both (as 't is said from themselves) encouraged 
him to be assisting to the Commissioners, according to his calling. 

But certain it is that, when they came to fetch him to go with 
them, Mr. Hoffman answered, that he would not lodge there one 
night for £500, and being asked to pray with them, he held up his 
hands and said, that he would not meddle upon any terms. 

Mr. Hoffman refusing to undertake the quarrel, the Commis- 
sioners held it not safe to lodge where they had been thus enter- 
tained any longer, but caused all things to be removed into the 
chambers over the gatehouse, where they staid but one night, and 
what rest they enjoyed there, we have but an uncertain relation 
of, for they went away early the next morning. But if it may be 
held fit to set down what hath been delivered by the report of 
others, they were also the same night much affrighted with dread- 
ful apparitions, but observing that these passages spread much in 
discourse, to be also in particulars taken notice of, and that the 
nature of it made not for their cause, they agreed to the concealing 
of things for the future; yet this is well-known and certain, that the 
gate-keeper's wife was in so strange an agony in her bed, and in 
her bedchamber such noise (whilst her husband was above with 
the Commissioners) , that two maids in the next room to her durst 
not venture to assist her, but affrighted ran out to call company, 
and their master, and found the woman (at their coming in) gasp- 
ing for breath; and the next day said, that she saw and suffered 
that which for all the world she would not be hired to again. 

From Woodstock the Commissioners removed unto Euelme, 
and some of them returned to Woodstock the Sunday se'nnight 
after (the book of valuations wanting something that was for 
haste left imperfect), but lodged not in any of those rooms where 
they had lain before, and yet were not unvisited (as they confess 



themselves) by the devil, whom they called their nightly guest. 
Captain Crook, came not untill Tuesday night, and how he sped 
that night the gate-keeper's wife can tell if she dareth, but what 
she hath whispered to her gossips shall not be made a part of this 
our narrative, nor many more particulars which have fallen from 
the Commissioners themselves and their servants to other persons. 
They are all or most of them alive, and may add to it when they 
please, and surely have not a better way to be revenged of him 
who troubled them, than according to the proverb, tell truth 
and shame the devil. 

There remains this observation to be added, that on a Wednes- 
day morning all these officers went away; and that since them 
diverse persons of severall qualities have lodged often and some- 
times long in the same rooms, both in the presence, withdrawing- 
room, and bedchamber belonging unto his sacred Majesty; yet 
none have had the least disturbance, or heard the smallest noise, 
for which the cause was not as ordinary as apparent, except the 
Commissioners and their company, who came in order to the 
ahenating and pulling down the house, which is wellnigh per- 


The noble scat called Woodstock is one of the ancient honours 
belonging to the crown. Severall mannors owe suite and service 
to the place; but the custom of the countrey giving it but the title 
of a mannor, we shall erre with them to be the better understood. 

The mannor-house hath been a large fabrick, and accounted 
amongst his RIajestie's standing houses, because there was al- 
waies kept a standing furniture. This great house was built by 
King Henry the First, but ampleyfied with the gate-house and 
outsides of the outer court by King Henry the Seventh, the stables 
by King James. 

About a bow-shoot from the gate south-west remain foundation 
signs of that structure erected by King Henry the Second for the 
security of Lady Rosamond, daughter or Walter Lord Clifford, 
which some poets have compared to the Dedalian labyrinth, but 
the form and circuit both of the place and ruins shew it to have 
been a house and of one pile, perhaps of strength, according to the 
fashion of those times, and probably was fitted with secret places 
of recess, and avenues to hide or convey away such persons as 



were not willing to be found if narrowly sought after. About the 
midst of the place ariseth a spring, called at present Rosamond's 
Well; it is but shallow, and shews to have been paved and walled 
about, likely contrived for the use of them within the house, when 
it should be of danger to go out. 

A quarter of a mile distant from the king's house is seated 
Woodstock town, new and old. This new Woodstock did arise 
by some buildings which Henry the Second gave leave to be 
erected (as received by tradition) at the suite of the Lady Rosa- 
mond, for the use of out-servants upon the wastes of the mannor 
of Bladon, where is the mother church; this is a hamlet belonging 
to it, though encreased to a market-town by the advantage of the 
Court residing sometime near, which of late years they have been 
sensible of the want of; this town was made a corporation in the 
nth year of Henry the Sixth, by charter, with power to send two 
burgesses to parliament or not, as they will themselves. 

Old Woodstock is seated on the west side of the brook named 
Glyme, which also runneth through the park; the town consists not 
of above four or five houses, but it is to be conceived that it hath 
been much larger, but very anciently so, for in some old law his- 
torians there is mention of the assize at Woodstock, for a law made 
in a Micelgemote (the name of parliaments before the coming of 
the Norman) in the days of King Ethelred. 

And in like manner, that thereabout was a king's house, if not in 
the same place where Henry the First built the late standing pile 
before his; for in such days those great councils were commonly 
held in the king's palaces. Some of those lands have belonged to 
the orders of the Knights Templers, there being records which 
call them terras quas rex excambiavit cum Templariis. 

But now this late large mannor-house is in a manner almost 
turned into heaps of rubbish; some seven or eight rooms left for 
the accommodation of a tenant that should rent the king's med- 
ows (of those who had no power to let them), with several high 
uncovered walls standing, the prodigious spectacles of malice unto 
monarchy, which ruines still bear semblance of their state, and 
yet aspire, in spight of envy or of weather, to show, What kings 
do build, subjects may sometimes shake, but utterly can never 

That part of the park called the High-Park hath been lately 
subdivided by Sir Arthur Haselrig, to make pastures for his breed 
of colts, and other parts plowed up. Of the whole saith Roffus 
Warwicensis, in MS. Hen. I., p. 122, Fecit iste rex par cum de 



Woodstock, cum palatio infra prcBdictutn parcum, qui parens erat 
primus parcus Anglia;, et continet in circuitu septcm miliaria; con- 
structus erat amio 14 hujus regis, aut parum post. Without the 
park the king's demesne woods were, it cannot well be said now 
are, the timber being all sold off, and underwoods so cropt and 
spoiled by that beast the Lord Munson, and other greedy cat- 
tel, that they are hardly recoverable. Beyond which lieth Stone- 
field, and other manners that hold of Woodstock, with other 
woods, that have been aliened by former kings, but with reserva- 
tion of liberty for his Majestie's deer, and other beasts of forrest, 
to harbour in at pleasure, as in due place is to be shewed. 


Note i, p. ii 

See Vindication of the Book of Common Prayer, against the con- 
tumelious Slanders of the Fanatic Party terming it Porridge. 

The author of this singular and rare tract indulges in the alle- 
gorical style, till he fairly hunts down the allegory. 

'But as for what you call porridge, who hatched the name I 
know not, neither is it worth the enquiring after, for I hold por- 
ridge good food. It is better to a sick man than meat, for a sick 
man will sooner eat pottage than meat. Pottage will digest with 
him when meat will not: pottage will nourish the blood, fill the 
veins, run into every part of a man, make him warmer; so will 
these prayers do, set our soul and body in a heat, warm our devo- 
tioij, work fervency in us, lift up our soul to God. For there be 
herbs of God's own planting in our pottage as you call it — the 
Ten Commandments, dainty herbs to season any pottage in the 
world: there is the Lord's Prayer, and that is a most sweet pot- 
herb cannot be denied; then there is also David's herbs, his pray- 
ers and psalms, helps to make our pottage relish well; the psalm 
of the Blessed Virgin, a good pot-herb. Though they be, as some 
term them, cock-crowed pottage, yet they are as sweet, as good, as 
dainty, and as fresh as they were at the first. The sun hath not 
made them sour with its heat, neither hath the cold water taken 
away their vigour and strength. Compare them with the Script- 
ures, and see if they be not as well seasoned and crumbed. If you 
find anything in them that is either too salt, too fresh, or too bit- 
ter, that herb shall be taken out and better put in, if it can be got, 
or none. And as in kitchen pottage there are many good herbs, so 
there is likewise in this church pottage, as you call it. For first, 
there is in kitchen pottage good water to make them so; on the 
contrary, in the other pottage there is the water of life. 2. There 
is salt to season them; so in the other is a prayer of grace to season 
their hearts. 3. There is oatmeal to nourish the body; in the other 
is the bread of life. 4. There is thyme in them to relish them, and 
it is very wholesome; in the other is the wholesome exhortation 
not to harden our heart while it is called to-day. This relisheth 
well. 5. There is a small onion to give a taste; in the other is a 



good herb, called Lord have mercy on us. These and many other 
holy herbs are contained in it, all boiling in the heart of man, 
will make as good pottage as the world can afford, especially if 
you use these herbs for digestion — the herb repentance, the herb 
grace, the herb faith, the herb love, the herb hope, the herb good 
works, the herb feeling, the herb zeal, the herb fervency, the herb 
ardency, the herb constancy, with many more of this nature, most 
excellent for digestion.' 

Ohe I jam satis. In this manner the learned divine hunts his 
metaphor at a very cold scent, through a pamphlet of six mortal 
quarto pages. 

Note 2, p. 264 

Rere-suppers (quasi arrive) belonged to a species of luxury 
introduced in the jolly days of King James's extravagance, and 
continued through the subsequent reign. The supper took place 
at an early hour, six or seven o'clock at latest; the rere-supper 
was a postliminary banquet — a hors d' ceuvre, which made its 
appearance at ten or eleven, and served as an apology for pro- 
longing the entertainment till midnight. 

Note 3, p. 289 

Michael Hudson,'the ' plain-dealing ' chaplain of King Charles I, 
resembled, in his loyalty to that unfortunate monarch, the fic- 
titious character of Doctor Rochecliffe; and the circumstances of 
his death were copied in the narrative of the Presbyterian's ac- 
count of the slaughter of his schoolfellow. He was chosen by 
Charles I, along with John Ashburnham, as his guide and attend- 
ant, when he adopted the ill-advised resolution of siurendering 
his person to the Scots army. 

He was taken prisoner by the Parliament, remained long in 
their custody, and was treated with great severity. He made his 
escape for about a year in 1647, was retaken, and again escaped 
in 1648; and, heading an insurrection of Cavaliers, seized on a 
strong moated house in Lincolnshire, called Woodford House. 
He gained the place without resistance; and there are among 
Peck's Desiderata Curiosa several accounts of his death, among 
which we shall transcribe that of Bishop Kennett, as the most 
correct and concise: — 

'"I have been on the spot," saith his lordship, "and made all 



possible enquiries, and find that the relation given by Mr. Wood 
may be a little rectified and supplied. 

'"Mr. Hudson and his beaten party did not fly to Woodford, 
but had quietly taken possession of it, and held it for a garrison, 
with a good party of horse, who made a stout defence, and fre- 
quent sallies, against a party of the Parliament at Stanford, till 
the colonel commanding them sent a stronger detachment, under 
a captain, his own kinsman, who was shot from the house, upon 
which the colonel himself came up to renew the attack, and de- 
mand surrendry, and brought them to capitulate upon terms 
of safe quarter. But the colonel, in base revenge, commanded 
that they should not spare that rogue Hudson. Upon which 
Hudson fought his way up to the leads; and when he saw they 
were pushing in upon him, threw himself over the battlements 
[another account says he caught hold of a spout or outstone], 
and hung by the hands as intending to fall into the moat beneath, 
till they cut off his wrists and let him drop, and then ran down to 
hunt him in the water, where they found him paddling with his 
stumps, and barbarously knocked him on the head."' — Peck's 
Desiderata Curiosa, Book ix. 

Other accounts mention he was refused the poor charity of 
coming to die on land, by one Egborough, servant to Mr. Spinks, 
the intruder into the parsonage. A man called Walker, a chandler 
or grocer, cut out the tongue of the unfortunate divine, and 
showed it as a trophy through the country. But it was remarked, 
with vindictive satisfaction, that Egborough was killed by the 
bursting of his own gun; and that Walker, obliged to abandon his 
trade through poverty, became a scorned mendicant. 

For some time a grave was not vouchsafed to the remains of this 
brave and loyal divine, till one of the other party said, ' Since he is 
dead, let him be buried.' 


adjutator, an ' agitator,' a Parliament- 
ary soldier chosen to look after the 
common interests of a band. 

adust, looking as if burned or 

ail, prevent. 

alert, alerte, an alarm, an intima- 
tion of danger. 

alicant, a strong, sweet Spanish wine. 

ambagitory, with circumlocution. 

an, if. 

Andrew Ferrara, a Scottish broad- 

bent brow, a wrinkled or knit brow. 

bilbo, bilboa, a rapier. 

bilk, trick. 

black-jack, a large beer jug, usually 
made of waxed leather, but some- 
times of metal. 

boulters, boulders, large stones. 

bow-pot, a pot or vase for holding 
boughs or flowers. 

brown baker, a baker of brown bread. 

buff and bandalier, military attire. 

buff-coat, a stout coat of buff leather. 

busle, to bustle. 

buss, a kiss. 

cartel, a challenge. 

cast, a touch, a stroke. 

castor, a beaver hat. 

chouse, cheat, defraud. 

clefts, wood split up for fuel. 

clout, swaddling clothes. 

counter, to hunt, to hunt backward 

along the way that game has come. 
cross, a piece of money stamped with 

a cross. 
cuckoldy, sneaking. 
culverin, an early form of cannon. 

dowsets, doucets, the testicles of a 

dudgeon-dagger, a small dagger with 

a haft of boxwood. 
Duke of Norfolk, a fencing term, 
dunny, dull of apprehension, stupid. 

enow, enough. 

foin, to thrust in fencing. 

fox, an old slang expression for a 

frank, a pen, a pig-sty. 

galloway, a small horse, originally 
bred in the old county of Gallo- 

gear, matter, business. 

grout-head, growt-head, a lout, a 

gudgeon, to cheat, to impose upon. 

hale, a snare for catching rabbits, etc. 
halberd, a combination of spear and 

hot, hit. 

jack-pudding, a buffoon or merry- 
andrew, who performed common 
conjuring tricks. 

jerkin, a close-fitting jacket, 

joal, to dash violently. 

lave, to lift up water and pour it into 
a utensil, to lade out. 

leading-staff, a staff carried by a 
commanding ofiScer. 

leaguer, a camp. 

leak, to void urine. 

levant, a signal given with a trumpet. 

lindabrides, a woman of light repu- 

maik, make, a halfpenny. 
makebate, one who stirs up quarrels 
and dissensions. 



manchet, a small loaf of fine white 

maravedi, an old Spanish copper 

mew, to shut up. 
muscadine, a sweet strong wine made 

in Italy and France. 

natheless, nevertheless. 

noble, a gold coin worth 6s. 8d. 

nullifidian, one who believes nothing, 

an unbeliever. 
nuzle, nuzzle, to hide the head under 

the bedclothes. 

oaf, a dolt. 

odds pittikinsl a kind of oath, a 
corruption of "God's pityl" 

parcel, partly. 

passado, a forward thrust in fencing. 

penny fee, wages. 

periapt, an amulet, a charm. 

petard, a military engine for holding 

an explosive material, and used for 

bursting open doors and gates. 
petronel, a horseman's pistol or small 

philomath, a prognosticator. 
pollard, a tree that has been polled or 

cut back. 
pottle, a tankard containing about 

two quarts. 

quarter-staff, a stout pole six to eight 

feet long and tipped with iron. 
quean, a wench, a light woman. 

rochet, rocket, a short cloak. 

rood, a cross. 

Rota, an ecclesiastical tribunal from 

which there is no appeal except to 

the Pope. 
rouse, a bumper. 

sack-posset, a drink made of canary 

wine, milk, etc. 
sasine and livery, an old legal form of 

conveying land, etc. 
Saunders gardner, a fencing term, 
scumber, to dung. 
shog, to shake, to move, 
siserary, a telling blow, a vehement 

slie, sly. 

spayed, castrated. 
stead, serve, assist. 
stir, to be disturbed, 
stoup, a drinking vessel, a tankard, 
swatter, to splutter. 

tire upon, to siege and tear the 

Toledo, a sword made at Toledo, in 

topiary art, the art of landscape 

trevisse, the division between stalls, 
trinidado, tobacco from Trinidad, 
truncheon, a short staff. 
tuck-sword, a long narrow sword, a 


umbles, biunbles, the entrails of a 

unbated, not blunted, without a 

Utopia, an ideal state, with an ideal 

society and an ideal government. 

verdurer, the officer who had charge 
of the trees and underwood in a 
royal forest. 

vert and venison, the trees of a forget 
and the game among them. 

wanion, with ft. with a vengeance, 

weird, fate. 

whittle, a large knife. 







COPYRIGHT, 1 9 13 







Then are the harpies gone. Yet ere we perch 
Where such foul birds have roosted, let us cleanse 
The foul obscenity they 've left behind them. 


The embassy of Wildrake had been successful, chiefly 
through the mediation of the Episcopal divine, whom we 
formerly found acting in the character of a chaplain to 
the family, and whose voice had great influence on many 
accounts with its master. 

A httle before high noon, Sir Henry Lee, with his 
small household, were again in unchallenged possession 
of their old apartments at the lodge of Woodstock ; and 
the combined exertions of Joceline Jolifi'e, of Phoebe, and 
of old Joan were employed in putting to rights what 
the late intruders had left in great disorder. 

Sir Henry Lee had, like all persons of quality of that 
period, a love of order amounting to precision, and felt, 
like a fine lady whose dress has been disordered in a 
crowd, insulted and humiliated by the rude confusion 
into which his household goods had been thrown, and 
impatient till his mansion was purified from all marks of 
intrusion. In his anger he uttered more orders than the 
limited number of his domestics were hkely to find time 
or hands to execute. 'The \illain5 have left such sul- 
phureous steams behind them, too,' said the old knight^ 

38 I 


'as if old Davie Leslie and the whole Scottish army had 
quartered among them.' 

'It may be near as bad,' said Joceline, 'for men say, 
for certain, it was the Devil came down bodily among 
them and made them troop off.' 

'Then,' said the knight, 'is the Prince of Darkness a 
gentleman, as old Will Shakespeare says. He never 
interferes with those of his own coat, for the Lees have 
been here, father and son, these five hundred years, 
without disquiet; and no sooner came these misbegotten 
churls than he plays his own part among them.' 

'Well, one thing he and they have left us,' said JolifTe, 
'which we may thank them for; and that is, such a well- 
filled larder and buttery as has been seldom seen in 
Woodstock Lodge this many a day — carcasses of mut- 
ton, large rounds of beef, barrels of confectioners' ware, 
pipes and runlets of sack, muscadine, ale, and what not. 
We shall have a royal time on 't through half the winter; 
and Joan must get to salting and pickling presently.' 

' Out, villain ! ' said the knight ; ' are we to feed on the 
fragments of such scum of the earth as these? Cast them 
forth instantly. Nay,' checking himself, 'that were a 
sin; but give them to the poor, or see them sent to the 
owners. And, hark ye, I will none of their strong hquors. 
I would rather drink like a hermit all my hfe than seem 
to pledge such scoundrels as these in their leavings, like 
a miserable drawer, who drains off the ends of the bot- 
tles after the guests have paid their reckoning and gone 
off. And, hark ye, I will taste no water from the cistern 
out of which these slaves have been serving themselves; 
fetch me down a pitcher from Rosamond's spring.' 

Alice heard this injunction, and well guessing there 



was enough for the other members of the family to do, 
she quietly took a small pitcher, and, flinging a cloak 
around her, walked out in person to procure Sir Henry 
the water which he desired. Meantime, Jocehne said, 
with some hesitation, 'that a man still remained, be- 
longing to the party of these strangers, who was direct- 
ing about the removal of some trunks and mails which 
belonged to the Commissioners, and who could receive 
his honour's commands about the provisions.' 

'Let him come hither.' The dialogue was held in the 
hall. 'Why do you hesitate and drumble in that man- 

'Only, sir,' said Joceline — 'only perhaps your honour 
might not wish to see him, being the same who, not long 
since — ' He paused. 

'Sent my rapier a-hawking through the firmament, 
thou wouldst say? Why, when did I take spleen at a 
man for standing his ground against me? Roundhead as 
he is, man, I like him the better of that, not the worse. I 
hunger and thirst to have another turn with him. I have 
thought on his passado ever since, and I beheve, were it 
to try again, I know a feat would control it. Fetch him 

Trusty Tomkins was presently ushered in, bearing 
himself with an iron gravity which neither the terrors of 
the preceding night nor the dignified demeanour of the 
high-born personage before whom he stood were able 
for an instant to overcome. 

' How now, good fellow? ' said Sir Henry ; ' I would fain 
see something more of thy fence, which baffled me the 
other evening; but truly, I think the Hght was somewhat 
too faint for my old eyes. Take a foil, man — I walk 


here in the hall, as Hamlet says, and 't is the breathing- 
time of day with me — take a foil, then, in thy hand.' 

'Since it is your worship's desire,' said the steward, 
letting fall his long cloak, and taking the foil in his 

'Now,' said the knight, 'if your fitness speaks, mine is 
ready. Methinks the very stepping on this same old 
pavement hath charmed away the gout which threat- 
ened me. Sa — sa — I tread as firm as a game-cock ! ' 

They began the play with great spirit; and whether 
the old knight really fought more coolly with the blunt 
than with the sharp weapon, or whether the steward 
gave him some grains of advantage in this merely sport- 
ive encoimter, it is certain Sir Henry had the better in 
the assault. His success put him into excellent humour. 

'There,' said he, 'I found your trick — nay, you cheat 
me not twice the same way. There was a very palpable 
hit. Why, had I had but Hght enough the other night — 
But it skills not speaking of it. Here we leave off. I 
must not fight, as we unwise Cavaliers did with you 
Roundhead rascals, beating you so often that we taught 
you to beat us at last. And good now, tell me why you 
are leaving your larder so full here? Do you think I or 
my family can use broken victuals? What, have you no 
better employment for your rounds of sequestrated beef 
than to leave them behind you when you shift your 
quarters? ' 

' So please your honour,' said Tomkins, ' it may be that 
you desire not the flesh of beeves, of rams, or of goats. 
Nevertheless, when you know that the provisions were 
provided and paid for out of your own rents and stock at 
Ditchley, sequestrated to the use of the state more than 


a year since, it may be you will have less scruple to use 
them for your own behoof.' 

'Rest assured that I shall,' said Sir Henry; 'and glad 
you have helped me to a share of mine own. Certainly I 
was an ass to suspect your masters of subsisting, save at 
honest men's expense.' 

'And as for the rumps of beeves,' continued Tomkins, 
with the same solemnity, ' there is a riunp at Westmin- 
ster which will stand us of the army much hacking and 
hewing yet ere it is discussed to our mind.' 

Sir Henry paused, as if to consider what was the 
meaning of this innuendo; for he was not a person of 
very quick apprehension. But having at length caught 
the meaning of it, he burst into an explosion of louder 
laughter than Joceline had seen him indulge in for a good 

' Right, knave,' he said, ' I taste thy jest. It is the very 
moral of the puppet-show. Faustus raised the Devil, as 
the Parliament raised the army; and then, as the Devil 
flies away with Faustus, so will the army fly away with 
the ParUament — or the rump, as thou call'st it, or sit- 
ting part of the so-called Parliament. And then, look 
you, friend, the very Devil of all hath my willing con- 
sent to fly away with the army in its turn, from the 
highest general down to the lowest drum-boy. Nay, 
never look fierce for the matter ; remember there is day- 
light enough now for a game at sharps.' 

Trusty Tomkins appeared to think it best to suppress 
his displeasure; and observing that the wains were 
ready to transport the Commissioners' property to the 
borough, took a grave leave of Sir Henry Lee. 

Meantime the old man continued to pace his recov- 



ered hall, rubbing his hands, and evincing greater signs 
of glee than he had shown since the fatal Thirtieth of 

* Here we are again in the old frank, JoliiTe — well 
victualled too. How the knave solved my point of con- 
science! The dullest of them is a special casuist where 
the question concerns profit. Look out if there are not 
some of our own ragged regiment lurking about, to 
whom a bellyful would be a godsend, Joceline. Then his 
fence, Joceline! though the fellow foins well — very 
sufficient well. But thou saw'st how I dealt with him 
when I had fitting light, Joceline?' 

*Ay, and so your honour did,' said Joceline. 'You 
taught him to know the Duke of Norfolk from Saunders 
Gardner. I'll warrant him he will not wish to come 
under your honour's thumb again.' 

'Why, I am waxing old,' said Sir Henry; 'but skill 
will not rust through age, though sinews must stiffen. 
But my age is like a lusty winter, as old Will says — 
frosty but kindly. And what if, old as we are, we live to 
see better days yet ! I promise thee, Joceline, I love this 
jarring betwixt the rogues of the board and the rogues of 
the sword. When thieves quarrel, true men have a 
chance of coming by their own.' 

Thus triumphed the old Cavalier, in the treble glory 
of having recovered his dwelling, regained, as he 
thought, his character as a man of fence, and finally 
discovered some prospect of a change of times, in which 
he was not without hopes that something might turn up 
for the Royal interest. 

Meanwhile, Alice, with a prouder and a lighter heart 



than had danced in her bosom for several days, went 
forth with a gaiety to which she of late had been a 
stranger, to contribute her assistance to the regulation 
and supply of the household, by bringing the fresh water 
wanted from Fair Rosamond's Well. 

Perhaps she remembered that, when she was but a 
girl, her cousin Markham used, among others, to make 
her perform that duty, as presenting the character of 
some captive Trojan princess, condemned by her situa- 
tion to draw the waters from some Grecian spring, for 
the use of the proud victor. At any rate, she certainly 
joyed to see her father reinstated in his ancient habita- 
tion; and the joy was not the less sincere, that she knew 
their return to Woodstock had been procured by means 
of her cousin, and that, even in her father's prejudiced 
eyes, Everard had been in some degree exculpated of 
the accusations the old knight had brought against him; 
and that, if a reconciliation had not yet taken place, the 
preliminaries had been established on which such a 
desirable conclusion might easily be founded. It was 
like the commencement of a bridge; when the founda- 
tion is securely laid, and the piers raised above the 
influence of the torrent, the throwing of the arches may 
be accomplished in a subsequent season. 

The doubtful fate of her only brother might have 
clouded even this momentary gleam of sunshine; but 
Alice had been bred up during the close and frequent 
contests of civil war, and had acquired the habit of 
hoping in behalf of those dear to her until hope was lost. 
In the present case, all reports seemed to assure her of 
her brother's safety. 

Besides these causes for gaiety, Alice Lee had the 


pleasing feeling that she was restored to the habitation 
and the haunts of her childhood, from which she had not 
departed without much pain, the more felt, perhaps, 
because suppressed, in order to avoid irritating her 
father's sense of his misfortune. Finally, she enjoyed 
for the instant the gleam of self-satisfaction by which 
we see the young and well-disposed so often animated, 
when they can be, in common phrase, helpful to those 
whom they love, and perform at the moment of need 
some of those little domestic tasks which age receives 
with so much pleasure from the dutiful hands of youth. 
So that, altogether, as she hasted through the remains 
and vestiges of a wilderness already mentioned, and 
from thence about a bow-shot into the park, to bring a 
pitcher of water from Rosamond's spring, Alice Lee, her 
features enlivened and her complexion a little raised by 
the exercise, had, for the moment, regained the gay and 
brilliant vivacity of expression which had been the char- 
acteristic of her beauty in her earlier and happier days. 

This fountain of old memory had been once adorned 
with architectural ornaments in the style of the sixteenth 
century, chiefly relating to ancient mythology. All these 
were now wasted and overthrown, and existed only as 
moss-covered ruins, while the living spring continued 
to furnish its daily treasures, unrivalled in purity, 
though the quantity was small, gushing out amid dis- 
jointed stones, and bubbUng through fragments of 
ancient sculpture. 

With a light step and laughing brow the young Lady 
of Lee was approaching the fountain usually so solitary, 
when she paused on beholding some one seated beside it. 
She proceeded, however, with confidence, though with a 



step something less gay, when she observed that the 
person was a female: some menial, perhaps, from the 
town, whom a fanciful mistress occasionally despatched 
for the water of a spring supposed to be peculiarly pure, 
or some aged woman, who made a little trade by carry- 
ing it to the better sort of famiHes, and selKng it for a 
trifle. There was no cause, therefore, for apprehension. 

Yet the terrors of the times were so great, that Alice 
did not see a stranger even of her own sex without some 
apprehension. Denaturahsed women had as usual fol- 
lowed the camps of both armies during the Civil War, 
who, on the one side with open profligacy and profanity, 
on the other with the fraudful tone of fanaticism or 
hypocrisy, exercised nearly in like degree their talents 
for murder or plunder. But it was broad daylight, the 
distance from the lodge was but trifling, and though a 
little alarmed at seeing a stranger where she expected 
deep solitude, the daughter of the haughty old knight 
had too much of the lion about her to fear without some 
determined and decided cause. 

Alice walked, therefore, gravely on towards the fount, 
and composed her looks as she took a hasty glance of the 
female who was seated there, and addressed herself to 
her task of filling her pitcher. 

The woman whose presence had surprised and some- 
what startled Alice Lee was a person of the lower rank, 
whose red cloak, russet kirtle, handkerchief trimmed 
with Coventry blue, and a coarse steeple hat, could not 
indicate at best anything higher than the wife of a small 
farmer, or, perhaps, the helpmate of a bailiff or hind. It 
was well if she proved nothing worse. Her clothes, in- 
deed, were of good materials; but, what the female eye 


discerns with half a glance, they were indifferently ad- 
justed and put on. This looked as if they did not belong 
to the person by whom they were worn, but were articles 
of which she had become the mistress by some accident, 
if not by some successful robbery. Her size, too, as did 
not escape Alice, even in the short perusal she afforded 
the stranger, was unusual, her features swarthy and 
singularly harsh, and her manner altogether unpropi- 
tious. The young lady almost wished, as she stooped to 
fill her pitcher, that she had rather turned back and sent 
Joceline on the errand; but repentance was too late now, 
and she had only to disguise as well as she could her 
unpleasant feelings. 

'The blessings of this bright day to one as bright as 
it is!' said the stranger, with no unfriendly, though a 
harsh, voice. 

'I thank you,' said Alice in reply; and continued to 
fill her pitcher busily, by assistance of an iron bowl 
which remained still chained to one of the stones beside 
the fountain. 

'Perhaps, my pretty maiden, if you would accept 
my help, your work would be sooner done,' said the 

' I thank you,' said Alice; ' but had I needed assistance, 
I could have brought those with me who had rendered 

'I do not doubt of that, my pretty maiden,' answered 
the female ; ' there are too many lads in Woodstock with 
eyes in their heads. No doubt you could have brought 
with you any one of them who looked on you, if you had 

Alice replied not a syllable, for she did not like the 



freedom used by the speaker, and was desirous to break 
ofif the conversation. 

'Are you offended, my pretty mistress?' said the 
stranger. ' That was far from my purpose. I will put my 
question otherwise. Are the good dames of Woodstock 
so careless of their pretty daughters as to let the flower 
of them all wander about the wild chase without a 
mother, or a somebody to prevent the fox from running 
away with the lamb? That carelessness, methinks, 
shows small kindness.' 

'Content yourself, good woman, I am not far from 
protection and assistance,' said Alice, who lilced less and 
less the effrontery of her new acquaintance. 

'Alas! my pretty maiden,' said the stranger, patting 
with her large and hard hand the head which Alice had 
kept bended down towards the water which she was 
laving, ' it would be difficult to hear such a pipe as yours 
at the town of Woodstock, scream as loud as you would.' 

Alice shook the woman's hand angrily off, took up her 
pitcher, though not above half full, and, as she saw the 
stranger rise at the same time, said, not without fear 
doubtless, but with a natural feeling of resentment and 
dignity, ' I have no reason to make my cries heard as far 
as Woodstock; were there occasion for my crying for 
help at all, it is nearer at hand.' 

She spoke not without a warrant; for, at the moment, 
broke through the bushes and stood by her side the 
noble hound Bevis, fixing on the stranger his eyes that 
glanced fire, raising every hair on his gallant mane as 
upright as the bristles of a wild boar when hard pressed, 
grinning till a case of teeth, which would have matched 
those of any wolf in Russia, were displayed in full array, 



and, without either barking or springing, seeming, by his 
low determined growl, to await but the signal for dash- 
ing at the female, whom he plainly considered as a 
suspicious person. 

But the stranger was undaunted. 'My pretty maid- 
en,' she said, 'you have indeed a formidable guardian 
there, where cockneys or bumpkins are concerned; but 
we who have been at the wars know spells for taming 
such furious dragons; and therefore let not your four- 
footed protector go loose on me, for he is a noble animal, 
and nothing but self-defence would induce me to do him 
injury.' So saying, she drew a pistol from her bosom and 
cocked it, pointing it towards the dog, as if apprehensive 
that he would spring upon her. 

' Hold, woman — hold ! ' said Alice Lee ; ' the dog will 
not do you harm. Down, Bevis — couch down. And ere 
you attempt to hurt him, know he is the favourite 
hound of Sir Henry Lee of Ditchley, the keeper of 
Woodstock Park, who would severely revenge any injury 
offered to him.' 

'And you, pretty one, are the old knight's house- 
keeper, doubtless? I have often heard the Lees have 
good taste.' 

'I am his daughter, good woman.' 

' His daughter ! I was blind ; but yet it is true, nothing 
less perfect could answer the description which all the 
world has given of Mistress Alice Lee. I trust that my 
folly has given my young mistress no offence, and that 
she will allow me, in token of reconciliation, to fill her 
pitcher and carry it as far as she will permit.' 

'As you will, good mother; but I am about to return 
instantly to the lodge, to which, in these times, I cannot 



admit strangers. You can follow me no farther than the 
verge of the wilderness, and I am already too long from 
home: I will send some one to meet and relieve you 
of the pitcher.' So saying, she turned her back, with a 
feeling of terror which she could hardly account for, and 
began to walk quickly towards the lodge, thinking thus 
to get rid of her troublesome acquaintance. 

But she reckoned without her host; for in a moment 
her new companion was by her side, not running, indeed, 
but walking with prodigious, long, unwomanly strides, 
which soon brought her up with the hurried and timid 
steps of the frightened maiden. But her manner was 
more respectful than formerly, though her voice sounded 
remarkably harsh and disagreeable, and her whole ap- 
pearance suggested an undefined yet irresistible feeling 
of apprehension. 

* Pardon a stranger, lovely Mistress Alice,' said her 
persecutor, ' that was not capable of distinguishing be- 
tween a lady of your high quaUty and a peasant wench, 
and who spoke to you with a degree of freedom ill befit- 
ting your rank, certainly, and condition, and which, I 
fear, has given you offence.' 

'No offence whatever,' replied Alice; 'but, good wo- 
man, I am near home, and can excuse your further com- 
pany. You are unknown to me.' 

'But it follows not,' said the stranger, 'that your for- 
tunes may not be known to me, fair Mistress Alice. Look 
on my swarthy brow; England breeds none such, and in 
the lands from which I come the sun, which blackens 
our complexion, pours, to make amends, rays of know- 
ledge into our brains which are denied to those of your 
lukewarm climate. Let me look upon your pretty hand 



(attempting to possess herself of it), and I promise you 
you shall hear what will please you.' 

'I hear what does not please me/ said Alice, with dig- 
nity; 'you must carry your tricks of fortune- telling and 
palmistry to the women of the village. We of the gentry 
hold them to be either imposture or unlawful knowledge.' 

* Yet you would fain hear of a certain colonel, I war- 
rant you, whom certain unhappy circumstances have 
separated from his family; you would give better than 
silver if I could assure you that you would see him in a 
day or two — ay, perhaps sooner.' 

'I know nothing of what you speak, good woman; if 
you want alms, there is a piece of silver, it is all I have in 
my purse.' 

*It were pity that I should take it,' said the female; 
'and yet give it me, for the princess in the fairy tale 
must ever deserve, by her generosity, the bounty of the 
benevolent fairy, before she is rewarded by her protec- 

'Take it — take it; give me my pitcher,' said Alice, 
*and begone; yonder comes one of my father's servants. 
What, ho ! Joceline — Joceline ! ' 

The old fortune-teller hastily dropped something into 
the pitcher as she restored it to Ahce Lee, and, plying her 
long limbs, disappeared speedily under cover of the 

Bevis turned, and backed, and showed some inclina- 
tion to harass the retreat of this suspicious person, yet, as 
if uncertain, ran towards Johffe, and fawned on him, 
as to demand his advice and encouragement. Joceline 
pacified the animal, and coming up to his young lady, 
asked her, with surprise, what was the matter, and 



whether she had been frightened? Alice made light of 
her alarm, for which, indeed, she could not have assigned 
any very competent reason, for the manners of the 
woman, though bold and intrusive, were not menacing. 
She only said she had met a fortune-teller by Rosa- 
mond's Well, and had had some difficulty in shaking 
her oflf. 

*Ah, the gipsy thief,' said Joceline, 'how well she 
scented there was food in the pantry! They have noses 
like ravens, these strollers. Look you. Mistress Alice, 
you shall not see a raven or a carrion-crow in all the blue 
sky for a mile round you; but let a sheep drop suddenly 
down on the greensward, and before the poor creature 's 
dead you shall see a dozen of such guests croaking, as if 
inviting each other to the banquet. Just so it is with these 
sturdy beggars. You will see few enough of them when 
there 's nothing to give, but when hough 's in the pot, 
they will have a share on 't.' 

'You are so proud of your fresh supply of provender,' 
said Alice, * that you suspect all of a design on 't. I do 
not think this woman will venture near your kitchen, 

'It will be best for her health,' said JoceHne, 'lest I 
give her a ducking for digestion. But give me the pitcher. 
Mistress AUce, meeter I bear it than you. How now! 
what jingles at the bottom? Have you lifted the pebbles 
as well as the water? ' 

'I think the woman dropped something into the 
pitcher,' said Alice. 

'Nay, we must look to that, for it is hke to be a charm, 
and we have enough of the Devil's ware about Wood- 
stock already; we will not spare for the water — I can 



run back and fill the pitcher.' He poured out the water 
upon the grass, and at the bottom of the pitcher was 
found a gold ring, in which was set a ruby, apparently of 
some value. 

* Nay, if this be not enchantment, I know not what is,' 
said Joceline. 'Truly, Mistress Alice, I think you had 
better throw away this gimcrack. Such gifts from such 
hands are a kind of press-money which the Devil uses for 
enlisting his regiment of witches; and if they take but 
so much as a bean from him, they become his bond slaves 
for life. Ay, you look at the gewgaw, but to-morrow 
you will find a lead ring and a common pebble in its 

'Nay, Jocehne, I think it will be better to find out 
that dark-complexioned woman, and return to her what 
seems of some value. So, cause inquiry to be made, and 
be sure you return her ring. It seems too valuable to be 

*Umph! that is always the way with women,' mur- 
mured Jocehne. 'You will never get the best of them, 
but she is willing to save a bit of finery. Well, Mistress 
Alice, I trust that you are too young and too pretty to 
be enlisted in a regiment of witches.' 

*I shall not be afraid of it till you turn conjurer,' said 
Alice; 'so hasten to the well, where you are hke still 
to find the woman, and let her know that Alice Lee 
desires none of her gifts, any more than she did of her 

So saying, the young lady pursued her way to the 
lodge, while Jocehne went down to Rosamond's Well 
to execute her commission. But the fortune-teller, or 
whoever she might be, was nowhere to be found; neither, 



finding that to be the case, did Joceline give himself 
much trouble in tracking her farther. 

'If this ring, which I dare say the jade stole some- 
where,' said the under-keeper to himself, *be worth a few 
nobles, it is better in honest hands than in those of vaga- 
bonds. My master has a right to all waifs and strays, 
and certainly such a ring, in possession of a gipsy, must 
be a waif. So I shall confiscate it without scruple, and 
apply the produce to the support of Sir Henry's house- 
hold, which is Hke to be poor enough. Thank Heaven, 
my military experience has taught me how to carry 
hooks at my finger-ends — that is trooper's law. Yet, 
hang it, after all, I had best take it to Mark Everard 
and ask his advice. I hold him now to be your learned 
counsellor in law where Mistress Alice's affairs are con- 
cerned, and my learned doctor, who shall be nameless, 
for such as concern church and state and Sir Henry 
Lee. And I '11 give them leave to give mine umbles to the 
kites and ravens if they find me conferring my confidence 
where it is not safe.' 


Being skilless in these parts, which, to a stranger, 
Unguided and unfriended, often prove 
Rough and unhospitable. 

Twelfth Night. 

There was a little attempt at preparation, now that the 
dinner-hour was arrived, which showed that, in the 
opinion of his few but faithful domestics, the good 
knight had returned in triumph to his home. 

The great tankard, exhibiting in bas-reHef the figure 
of Michael subduing the arch enemy, was placed on the 
table, and Joceline and Phoebe dutifully attended — the 
one behind the chair of Sir Henry, the other to wait upon 
her young mistress, and both to make out, by formal 
and regular observance, the want of a more numerous 

'A health to King Charles! ' said the old knight, hand- 
ing the massive tankard to his daughter; 'drink it, my 
love, though it be rebel ale which they have left us. I 
will pledge thee; for the toast will excuse the liquor, had 
Noll himself brewed it.' 

The young lady touched the goblet with her lip, and 
returned it to her father, who took a copious draught. 

*I will not say blessings on their hearts,' said he; 
'though I must own they drank good ale.' 

*No wonder, sir; they come Hghtly by the malt, and 
need not spare it,' said Joceline. 

'Say'st thou?' said the knight; 'thou shalt finish the 
tankard thyself for that very jest's sake.' Nor was his 



follower slow in doing reason to the Royal pledge. He 
bowed, and replaced the tankard, saying, after a tri- 
umphant glance at the sculpture, *I had a gibe with 
that same redcoat about the St. Michael just now.' 

'Redcoat — ha! what redcoat?' said the hasty old 
man. 'Do any of these knaves still lurk about Wood- 
stock? Quoit him downstairs instantly, Joceline. Know 
we not Galloway nags?' 

'So please you, he is in some charge here, and will 
speedily be gone. It is he — he who had a rencontre 
with your honour in the wood.' 

'Ay, but I paid him off for it in the hall, as you your- 
self saw. I was never in better fence in my life, Joceline. 
That same steward fellow is not so utterly black-hearted 
a rogue as the most of them, Joceline. He fences well — 
excellent well. I will have thee try a bout in the hall 
with him to-morrow, though I think he will be too hard 
for thee. I know thy strength to an inch.' 

He might say this with some truth; for it was Joce- 
line's fashion, when called on, as sometimes happened, 
to fence with his patron, just to put forth as much of his 
strength and skill as obliged the knight to contend hard 
for the victory, which, in the long-run, he always con- 
trived to yield up to him, Hke a discreet serving-man. 

'And what said this Roundheaded steward of our 
great St. Michael's standing-cup?' 

'Marry, he scoffed at our good saint, and said he was 
little better than one of the golden calves of Bethel. But 
I told him he should not talk so, until one of their own 
Roundheaded saints had given the Devil as complete a 
cross-buttock as St. Michael had given him, as 't is carved 
upon the cup there. I trow that made him silent enough. 



And then he would know whether your honour and 
Mistress Alice, not to mention old Joan and myself, 
since it is your honour's pleasure I should take my bed 
here, were not afraid to sleep in a house that had been 
so much disturbed. But I told him we feared no fiends 
or goblins, having the prayers of the church read every 

'Joceline,' said Alice, interrupting him, 'wert thou 
mad? You know at what risk to ourselves and the good 
doctor the performance of that duty takes place.' 

*0h. Mistress Alice,' said Joceline, a little abashed, 
*you may be sure I spoke not a word of the Doctor. No 
— no, I did not let him into the secret that we had such 
a reverend chaplain. I think I know the length of this 
man's foot. We have had a jollification or so together. 
He is hand and glove with me, for as great a fanatic as 
he is.' 

'Trust him not too far,' said the knight. 'Nay, I fear 
thou hast been imprudent already, and that it will be 
unsafe for the good man to come here after nightfall, as 
is proposed. These Independents have noses like blood- 
hounds, and can smell out a loyalist under any dis- 

*If your honour thinks so,' said Joceline, 'I'll watch 
for the Doctor with good-will, and bring him into the 
lodge by the old condemned postern, and so up to this 
apartment; and sure this man Tomkins would never 
presume to come hither; and the Doctor may have a 
bed in Woodstock Lodge, and he never the wiser; or, if 
your honour does not think that safe, I can cut his 
throat for you, and I would not mind it a pin.' 

' God forbid ! ' said the knight. ' He is under our roof, 


and a guest, though not an invited one. Go, Joceline; 
it shall be thy penance, for having given thy tongue too 
much license, to watch for the good doctor, and to take 
care of his safety while he continues with us. An Oc- 
tober night or two in the forest would finish the good 

*He is more Hke to finish our October than our Oc- 
tober is to finish him/ said the keeper; and withdrew 
under the encouraging smile of his patron. 

He whistled Bevis along with him to share in his 
watch; and having received exact information where 
the clergyman was most likely to be found, assured his 
master that he would give the most pointed attention 
to his safety. 

When the attendants had withdrawn, having pre- 
viously removed the remains of the meal, the old knight, 
leaning back in his chair, encouraged pleasanter visions 
than had of late passed through his imagination, until 
by degrees he was surprised by actual slumber; while his 
daughter, not venturing to move but on tiptoe, took 
some needlework, and, bringing it close by the old 
man's side, employed her fingers on this task, bending 
her eyes from time to time on her parent with the affec- 
tionate zeal, if not the effective power, of a guardian 
angel. At length, as the hght faded away and night 
came on, she was about to order candles to be brought. 
But, remembering how indifferent a couch Joceline's 
cottage had afforded, she could not think of interrupt- 
ing the first sound and refreshing sleep which her father 
had enjoyed, in all probability, for the last two nights 
and days. 

She herself had no other amusement, as she sat facing 



one of the great oriel windows, the same by which 
Wildrake had on a former occasion looked in upon 
Tomkins and Joceline while at their compotations, 
than watching the clouds, which a lazy wind sometimes 
chased from the broad disk of the harvest moon, some- 
times permitted to accumulate and exclude her bright- 
ness. There is, I know not why, something pecuHarly 
pleasing to the imagination in contemplating the Queen 
of Night, when she is 'wading,' as the expression is, 
among the vapours which she has not power to dispel, 
and which on their side are unable entirely to quench 
her lustre. It is the striking image of patient virtue 
calmly pursuing her path through good report and bad 
report, having that excellence in herself which ought to 
command all admiration, but bedimmed in the eyes of 
the world by suffering, by misfortune, by calumny. 

As some such reflections, perhaps, were passing 
through AHce's imagination, she became sensible, to her 
surprise and alarm, that some one had clambered up 
upon the window, and was looking into the room. The 
idea of supernatural fear did not in the slightest degree 
agitate AHce. She was too much accustomed to the 
place and situation; for folk do not see spectres in the 
scenes with which they have been familiar from infancy. 
But danger from marauders in a disturbed country was 
a more formidable subject of apprehension, and the 
thought armed Alice, who was naturally high-spirited, 
with such desperate courage, that she snatched a pistol 
from the wall, on which some firearms hung, and while 
she screamed to her father to awake, had the presence 
of mind to present it at the intruder. She did so the 
more readily, because she imagined she recognised in 



the visage, which she partially saw, the features of the 
woman whom she had met with at Rosamond's Well, 
and which had appeared to her peculiarly harsh and 
suspicious. Her father at the same time seized his sword 
and came forward, while the person at the window, 
alarmed at these demonstrations, and endeavouring to 
descend, missed footing, as had Cavaliero Wildrake be- 
fore, and went down to the earth with no small noise. 
Nor was the reception of the bosom of our common 
mother either soft or safe; for, by a most terrific bark 
and growl, they heard that Bevis had come up and 
seized on the party, ere he or she could gain their feet. 

'Hold fast, but worry not,' said the old knight. 'Alice 
thou art the queen of wenches! Stand fast here till I run 
down and secure the rascal.' 

'For God's sake, no, my dearest father!' Alice ex- 
claimed. 'Joceline will be up immediately. Hark! I 
hear him.' 

There was indeed a bustle below, and more than one 
light danced to and fro in confusion, while those who 
bore them called to each other, yet suppressing their 
voices as they spoke, as men who would only be heard 
by those they addressed. The individual who had fallen 
under the power of Bevis was most impatient in his 
situation, and called with least precaution — 'Here, 
Lee — Forester — take the dog off, else I must shoot 

'If thou dost,' said Sir Henry from the window, 'I 
blow thy brains out on the spot. Thieves, Jocehne — 
thieves! come up and secure this ruffian. Bevis, hold 

'Back, Bevis — down, sir,' cried Joceline. ' I am com- 



ing — I am coming, Sir Henry. St. Michael, I shall go 
distracted ! ' 

A terrible thought suddenly occurred to Alice: could 
Joceline have become unfaithful, that he was calling 
Bevis off the villain, instead of encouraging the trusty 
dog to secure him? Her father, meantime, moving per- 
haps by some suspicion of the same kind, hastily stepped 
aside out of the moonHght, and pulled Alice close to him, 
so as to be invisible from without, yet so placed as to 
hear what should pass. The scufiQe between Bevis and 
his prisoner seemed to be ended by Joceline's interfer- 
ence, and there was close whispering for an instant, as 
of people in consultation. 

'All is quiet now,' said one voice; 'I will up and pre- 
pare the way for you.' And immediately a form pre- 
sented itself on the outside of the window, pushed open 
the lattice, and sprung into the parlour. But almost ere 
his step was upon the floor, certainly before he had ob- 
tained any secure footing, the old knight, who stood 
ready with his rapier drawn, made a desperate pass, 
which bore the intruder to the ground. Joceline, who 
clambered up next with a dark lantern in his hand, ut- 
tered a dreadful explanation when he saw what had hap- 
pened, cr3dng out, 'Lord in Heaven, he has slain his own 

'No — no — I tell you no,' said the fallen young man, 
who was indeed young Albert Lee, the only son of the 
old knight. 'I am not hurt. No noise, on your Uves; 
get lights instantly.' At the same time, he started from 
the floor as quickly as he could, under the embarrass- 
ment of a cloak and doublet skewered as it were to- 
gether by the rapier of the old knight, whose pass, most 



fortunately, had been diverted from the body of Albert 
by the interruption of his cloak, the blade passing right 
across his back, piercing the clothes, while the hilt, com- 
ing against his side with the whole force of the lounge, 
had borne him to the ground. 

Joceline all the while enjoined silence to every one, 
imder the strictest conjurations. * Silence, as you would 
long live on earth — silence, as you would have a place 
in Heaven — be but silent for a few minutes ; all our 
lives depend on it.' 

Meantime he procured lights with inexpressible 
despatch, and they then beheld that Sir Henry, on 
hearing the fatal words, had sunk back on one of the 
large chairs, without either motion, colour, or sign of 

*0h, brother, how could you come in this manner?' 
said Alice. 

'Ask no questions. Good God! for what am I re- 
served?' He gazed on his father as he spoke, who, with 
clay-cold features rigidly fixed, and his arms extended 
in the most absolute helplessness, looked rather the 
image of death upon a monument than a being in whom 
existence was only suspended. 'Was my life spared,' 
said Albert, raising his hands with a wild gesture to 
Heaven, 'only to witness such a sight as this?' 

' We suffer what Heaven permits, young man — we 
endure our lives while Heaven continues them. Let 
me approach.' The same clergyman who had read the 
prayers at Joceline's hut now came forward. ' Get water,' 
he said, 'instantly.' And the helpful hand and light foot 
of Alice, with the ready-witted tenderness which never 
stagnates in vain lamentations while there is any room 



for hope, provided with incredible celerity all that the 
clergyman called for. 

'It is but a swoon,' he said, on feeling Sir Henry's 
palm — ' a swoon produced from the instant and unex- 
pected shock. Rouse thee up, Albert; I promise thee it 
will be nothing save a syncope. A cup, my dearest Ahce, 
and a ribbon, or a bandage — I must take some blood 
— some aromatics, too, if they can be had, my good 

But while Alice procured the cup and bandage, 
stripped her father's sleeve, and seemed by intuition 
even to anticipate every direction of the reverend 
doctor, her brother, hearing no word and seeing no 
sign of comfort, stood with both hands clasped and ele- 
vated into the air, a monument of speechless despair. 
Every feature in his face seemed to express the thought, 
* Here lies my father's corpse, and it is I whose rashness 
has slain him ! ' 

But when a few drops of blood began to follow the 
lancet; at first falling singly, and then trickling in a freer 
stream; when, in consequence of the appHcation of cold 
water to the temples, and aromatics to the nostrils, the 
old man sighed feebly, and made an effort to move his 
limbs, Albert Lee changed his posture at once to throw 
himself at the feet of the clergyman and kiss, if he would 
have permitted him, his shoes and the hem of his rai- 

'Rise, foohsh youth,' said the good man, with a re- 
proving tone; 'must it be always thus with you? Kneel 
to Heaven, not to the feeblest of its agents. You have 
been saved once again from great danger; would you de- 
serve Heaven's bounty, remember you have been pre- 



served for other purposes than you now think on. Be- 
gone you and Joceline, you have a duty to discharge; 
and be assured it will go better with your father's re- 
covery that he see you not for a few minutes. Down — 
down to the wilderness, and bring in your attendant.' 

'Thanks — thanks — a thousand thanks,' answered 
Albert Lee; and, springing through the lattice, he dis- 
appeared as unexpectedly as he had entered. At the 
same time Joceline followed him, and by the same road. 

Alice, whose fears for her father were now something 
abated, upon this new movement among the persons 
of the scene, could not resist appeahng to her venerable 
assistant. 'Good Doctor, answer me but one question; 
was my brother Albert here just now, or have I dreamed 
all that has happened for these ten minutes past? Me- 
thinks, but for your presence, I could suppose the 
whole had passed in my sleep — that horrible thrust, 
that death-like, corpse-Hke old man, that soldier in mute 
despair — I must indeed have dreamed.' 

'If you have dreamed, my sweet Alice,' said the Doc- 
tor, 'I wish every sick-nurse had your property, since 
you have been attending to our patient better during 
your sleep than most of these old dormice can do when 
they are most awake. But your dream came through the 
gate of horn, my pretty darling, which you must remind 
me to explain to you at leisure. Albert has really been 
here, and will be here again.' 

' Albert ! ' repeated Sir Henry, ' who names my son? ■* 

'It is I, my kind patron,' said the Doctor; 'permit me 
to bind up your arm.' 

'My wound! with all my heart, Doctor,' said Sir 
Henry, raising himself, and gathering his recollection by 



degrees. 'I knew of old thou wert body-curer as well as 
soul-curer, and served my regiment for surgeon as well 
as chaplain. But where is the rascal I killed? I never 
made a fairer stramaqon in my life. The shell of my 
rapier struck against his ribs. So dead he must be, or 
my right hand has forgot its cunning.' 

'Nobody was slain,' said the Doctor; 'we must thank 
God for that, since there were none but friends to slay. 
Here is a good cloak and doublet, though, wounded in a 
fashion which will require some skill in tailor-craft to 
cure. But I was your last antagonist, and took a little 
blood from you, merely to prepare you for the pleasure 
and surprise of seeing your son, who, though hunted 
pretty close, as you may believe, hath made his way 
from Worcester hither, where, with Joceline's assistance, 
we will care well enough for his safety. It was even for 
this reason that I pressed you to accept of your nephew's 
proposal to return to the old lodge, where a hundred 
men might be concealed, though a thousand were mak- 
ing search to discover them. Never such a place for 
hide-and-seek, as I shall make good when I can find 
means to publish my "Wonders of Woodstock.'" 

'But, my son — my dear son,' said the knight, 'shall 
I not then instantly see him? and wherefore did you not 
forewarn me of this joyful event? ' 

'Because I was uncertain of his motions,' said the 
Doctor, 'and rather thought he was bound for the sea- 
side, and that it would be best to tell you of his fate 
when he was safe on board and in full sail for France. We 
had appointed to let you know all when I came hither 
to-night to join you. But there is a red-coat in the house 
whom we care not to trust further than we could not 



help. We dared not, therefore, venture in by the hall; 
and so, prowling round the building, Albert informed us 
that an old prank of his, when a boy, consisted of enter- 
ing by this window. A lad who was with us would needs 
make the experiment, as there seemed to be no light in 
the chamber, and the moonlight without made us Hable 
to be detected. His foot slipped, and our friend Bevis 
came upon us.' 

*In good truth, you acted simply,' said Sir Henry, *to 
attack a garrison without a summons. But all this is 
nothing to my son Albert. Where is he? Let me see 

'But, Sir Henry, wait,' said the Doctor, 'till your re- 
stored strength — ' 

*A plague of my restored strength, man!' answered 
the knight, as his old spirit began to awaken within him. 
'Dost not remember that I lay on Edgehill Field all 
night, bleeding like a bullock from five several wounds, 
and wore my armour within six weeks, and you talk to 
me of the few drops of blood that follow such a scratch 
as a cat's claw might have made? ' 

'Nay, if you feel so courageous,' said the Doctor, 'I 
will fetch your son; he is not far distant.' So saying, he 
left the apartment, making a sign to Alice to remain, in 
case any symptoms of her father's weakness should 

It was fortunate, perhaps, that Sir Henry never 
seemed to recollect the precise nature of the alarm which 
had at once, and effectually as the shock of the thunder- 
bolt, for the moment suspended his faculties. Some- 
thing he said more than once of being certain he had 
done mischief with that stramaqon, as he called it; but his 



mind did not recur to that danger as having been in- 
curred by his son. Alice, glad to see that her father ap- 
peared to have forgotten a circumstance so fearful, as 
men often forget the blow or other sudden cause which 
has thrown them into a swoon, readily excused herself 
from throwing much light on the matter, by pleading 
the general confusion. And in a few minutes, Albert 
cut oflf all further inquiry by entering the room, followed 
by the Doctor, and throwing himself alternately into 
the arms of his father and of his sister. 


The boy is — bark ye, sirrah, what's your name? 
Oh, Jacob — ay, I recollect — the same. 


The affectionate relatives were united as those, who, 
meeting under great adversity, feel still the happiness 
of sharing it in common. They embraced again and 
again, and gave way to those expansions of the heart 
which at once express and relieve the pressure of mental 
agitation. At length the tide of emotion began to sub- 
side; and Sir Henry, still holding his recovered son by 
the hand, resumed the command of his feelings which 
he usually practised. 

' So you have seen the last of our battles, Albert,' he 
said, 'and the King's colours have fallen for ever before 
the rebels? ' 

'It is but even so,' said the young man: 'the last cast 
of the die was thrown, and, alas! lost, at Worcester; and 
Cromwell's fortune carried it there, as it has wherever 
he has shown himself.' 

' Well, it can but be for a time — it can but be for a 
time,' answered his father: 'the Devil is potent, they 
say, in raising and gratifying favourites, but he can 
grant but short leases. And the King — the King, Al- 
bert — the — King — in my ear — close — close ! ' 

'Our last news were confident that he had escaped 
from Bristol.' 



'Thank God for that — thank God for that! ' said the 
knight. 'Where didst thou leave him?' 

'Our men were almost all cut to pieces at the bridge,' 
Albert replied ; ' but I followed his Majesty, with about 
five hundred other officers and gentlemen, who were re- 
solved to die around him, until, as our numbers and 
appearance drew the whole pursuit after us, it pleased 
his Majesty to dismiss us, with many thanks and words 
of comfort to us in general, and some kind expressions 
to most of us in especial. He sent his royal greeting to 
you, sir, in particular, and said more than becomes me 
to repeat.' 

'Nay, I will hear it every word, boy,' said Sir Henry; 
'is not the certainty that thou hast discharged thy duty, 
and that King Charles owns it, enough to console me for 
all we have lost and suffered, and wouldst thou stint me 
of it from a false shamefacedness? I will have it out of 
thee, were it drawn from thee with cords.' 

' It shall need no such compulsion,' said the young man. 
*It was his Majesty's pleasure to bid me tell Sir Henry 
Lee, in his name, that if his son could not go before his 
father in the race of royalty, he was at least following 
him closely, and would soon move side by side.' 

'Said he so?' answered the knight. 'Old Victor Lee 
will look down with pride on thee, Albert! But I forget 
— you must be weary and hungry.' 

'Even so, sir,' said Albert; 'but these are things which 
of late I have been in the habit of enduring for safety's 

' Joceline! — what ho, Joceline!' 

The under-keeper entered, and received orders to get 
supper prepared directly. 



'My son and Dr. Rochecliffe are half starving,' said 
the knight. 

'And there is a lad, too, below,' said Joceline, 'a page, 
he says, of Colonel Albert's, whose belly rings cupboard 
too, and that to no common tmie; for I think he could 
eat a horse, as the Yorkshireman says, behind the saddle. 
He had better eat at the sideboard; for he has devoured 
a whole loaf of bread and butter, as fast as Phoebe could 
cut it, and it has not staid his stomach for a minute; and 
truly I think you had better keep him under your own 
eyes, for the steward beneath might ask him trouble- 
some questions if he went below. And then he is impa- 
tient, as all your gentlemen pages are, and is saucy 
among the women.' 

'Whom is it he talks of? What page hast thou got, 
Albert, that bears himself so ill? ' said Sir Henry. 

'The son of a dear friend, a noble lord of Scotland, 
who followed the great Montrose's banner, afterwards 
joined the King in Scotland, and came with him as far 
as Worcester. He was wounded the day before the bat- 
tle, and conjured me to take this youth under my charge, 
which I did, something unwillingly; but I could not re- 
fuse a father, perhaps on his death-bed, pleading for the 
safety of an only son.' 

'Thou hadst deserved an halter, hadst thou hesi- 
tated,' said Sir Henry; 'the smallest tree can always 
give some shelter, and it pleases me to think the old 
stock of Lee is not so totally prostrate, but it may yet 
be a refuge for the distressed. Fetch the youth in; 
he is of noble blood, and these are no times of cere- 
mony, he shall sit with us at the same table, page 
though he be; and if you have not schooled him hand- 

88 33 


somely in his manners, he may not be the worse of 
some lessons from me.' 

'You will excuse his national drawling accent, sir?' 
said Albert, 'though I know you like it not.' 

*I have small cause, Albert,' answered the knight — 
'small cause. Who stirred up these disunions? The 
Scots. Who strengthened the hands of Parliament, 
when their cause was well-nigh ruined? The Scots again. 
Who delivered up the King, their countryman, who had 
flung himself upon their protection? The Scots again. 
But this lad's father, you say, has fought on the part of 
the noble Montrose; and such a man as the great Mar- 
quis may make amends for the degeneracy of a whole 

'Nay, father,' said Albert, 'and I must add that, 
though this lad is uncouth and wayward, and, as you 
will see, something wilful, yet the King has not a more 
zealous friend in England; and, when occasion offered, he 
fought stoutly, too, in his defence. I marvel he comes 

'He hath taken the bath,' said Joceline, 'and nothing 
less would serve than that he should have it immedi- 
ately; the supper, he said, might be got ready in the 
meantime; and he commands all about him as if he were 
in his father's old castle, where he might have called long 
enough, I warrant, without any one to hear him.' 

'Indeed?' said Sir Henry, 'this must be a forward 
chick of the game to crow so early. What is his name?' 

' His name ! It escapes me every hour, it is so hard a 
one,' said Albert. 'Kerneguy is his name — Louis Kerne- 
guy ; his father was Lord Killstewers, of Kincardineshire.' 

'Kerneguy and Killstewers, and Kin — what d' ye 



call it? Truly,' said the knight, 'these Northern men's 
names and titles smack of their origin: they sound Hke a 
north-west wind, rumbling and roaring among heather 
and rocks.' 

'It is but the asperities of the Celtic and Saxon dia- 
lects,' said Dr. Rochecliffe, 'which, according to Verste- 
gan, still Unger in those northern parts of the island. 
Bur peace — here comes supper, and Master Louis 

Supper entered accordingly, borne in by Jocehne and 
Phoebe, and after it, leaning on a huge knotty stick, and 
having his nose in the air like a questioning hound, for 
his attention was apparently more fixed on the good pro- 
visions that went before him than anything else, came 
Master Kerneguy, and seated himself, without much 
ceremony, at the lower end of the table. 

He was a tall, rawboned lad, with a shock head of hair, 
fiery red, like many of his country, while the harshness 
of his national features was increased by the contrast of 
his complexion, turned almost black by the exposure to 
all sorts of weather, which, in that skulking and ram- 
bling mode of life the fugitive Royalists had been obliged 
to encounter. His address was by no means prepossess- 
ing, being a mixture of awkwardness and forwardness, 
and showing, in a remarkable degree, how a want of 
easy address may be consistent with an admirable stock 
of assurance. His face intimated having received some 
recent scratches, and the care of Dr. Rochecliffe had de- 
corated it with a number of patches, which even en- 
hanced its natural plainness. Yet the eyes were brilliant 
and expressive, and, amid his ugliness — for it amounted 
to that degree of irregularity — the face was not defi- 



cient in some lines which expressed both sagacity and 

The dress of Albert himself was far beneath his qual- 
ity as the son of Sir Henry Lee, and commander of a regi- 
ment in the Royal service; but that of his page was still 
more dilapidated. A disastrous green jerkin, which had 
been changed to a hundred hues by sun and rain, so 
that the original could scarce be discovered, huge clout- 
erly shoes, leathern breeches — such as were worn by 
hedgers — coarse grey worsted stockings, were the at- 
tire of the honourable youth, whose limping gait, while 
it added to the ungainliness of his manner, showed, at 
the same time, the extent of his sufferings. His appear- 
ance bordered so much upon what is vulgarly called the 
queer, that even with Alice it would have excited some 
sense of ridicule, had not compassion been predomi- 

The grace was said; and the young squire of Ditchley, 
as well as Dr. Rochecliffe, made an excellent figure at a 
meal the like of which, in quality and abundance, did not 
seem to have lately fallen to their share. But their feats 
were child's play to those of the Scottish youth. Far 
from betraying any symptoms of the bread and butter 
with which he had attempted to close the orifice of his 
stomach, his appetite appeared to have been sharpened 
by a nine days' fast; and the knight was disposed to 
think that the very genius of famine himself, come forth 
from his native regions of the North, was in the act of 
honouring him with a visit, while, as if afraid of losing 
a moment's exertion. Master Kerneguy never looked 
either to right or left, or spoke a single word to any at 



' I am glad to see that you have brought a good appe- 
tite for our country fare, young gentleman,' said Sir 

' Bread of Gude! sir,' said the page, 'an ye '11 find flesh, 
I 'se find appetite conforming, ony day o' the year. But 
the truth is, sir, that the appeteezement has been com- 
ing on for three days or four, and the meat in this south- 
land of yours has been scarce, and hard to come by; so, 
sir, I 'm making up for lost time, as the piper of Sligo 
said, when he eat a hail side o' mutton.' 

'You have been country-bred, young man,' said the 
knight, who, Hke others of his time, held the reins of dis- 
cipline rather tight over the rising generation; 'at least, 
to judge from the youths of Scotland whom I have seen 
at his late Majesty's court in former days: they had less 
appetite, and more — more — ' As he sought the quali- 
fying phrase which might supply the place of 'good man- 
ners,' his guest closed the sentence in his own way — 
'And more meat, it may be — the better luck theirs.' 

Sir Henry stared and was silent. His son seemed to 
think it time to interpose. 'My dear father,' he said, 
' think how many years have run since the Thirty-eighth, 
when the Scottish troubles first began, and I am sure 
that you will not wonder that, while the barons of Scot- 
land have been, for one cause or other, perpetually in 
the field, the education of their children at home must 
have been much neglected, and that young men of my 
friend's age know better how to use a broadsword or to 
toss a pike than the decent ceremonials of society.' 

'The reason is a sufficient one,' said the knight, 'and, 
since thou sayest thy follower Kernigo can fight, we '11 
not let him lack victuals, a God's name. See, he looks 



angrily still at yonder cold loin of mutton; for God's 
sake put it all on his plate ! ' 

*I can bide the bit and the buffet/ said the Honour- 
able Master Kemeguy: 'a hungry tike ne'er minds a 
blaud with a rough bane.' 

'Now, God ha'e mercy, Albert, but if this be the son 
of a Scots peer,' said Sir Henry to his son, in a low tone 
of voice, 'I would not be the English ploughman who 
would change manners with him, for his ancient blood, 
and his nobility, and his estate to boot, an he has one. 
He has eaten, as I am a Christian, near four pounds of 
solid butcher's meat, and with the grace of a wolf tug- 
ging at the carcass of a dead horse. Oh, he is about to 
drink at last. Soh! he wipes his mouth, though, and dips 
his fingers in the ewer, and dries them, I profess, with 
the napkin! There is some grace in him, after all.' 

' Here is wussing all your vera gude healths ! ' said the 
youth of quality, and took a draught in proportion to 
the solids which he had sent before; he then flung his 
knife and fork awkwardly on the trencher, which he 
pushed back towards the centre of the table, extended 
his feet beneath it till they rested on their heels, folded 
his arms on his well-replenished stomach, and, lolling 
back in his chair, looked much as if he was about to 
whistle himself to sleep. 

*Soh!' said the knight, 'the Honourable Master 
Kernigo hath laid down his arms. Withdraw these 
things, and give us our glasses. Fill them around, Joce- 
line; and if the Devil or the whole Parliament were within 
hearing, let them hear Henry Lee of Ditchley drink a 
health to King Charles, and confusion to his enemies!' 

'Amen!' said a voice from behind the door. 



All the company looked at each other in astonish- 
ment, at a response so little expected. It was followed 
by a solemn and peculiar tap, such as a kind of freema- 
sonry had introduced among Royalists, and by which 
they were accustomed to make themselves and their 
principles known to each other when they met by acci- 

'There is no danger,' said Albert, knowing the sign — 
'it is a friend; yet I wish he had been at a greater dis- 
tance just now.' 

'And why, my son, should you wish the absence of 
one true man, who may, perhaps, wish to share our 
abundance, on one of those rare occasions when we have 
superfluity at our disposal? Go, Joceline, see who 
knocks; and, if a safe man, admit him.' 

'And if otherwise,' said Joceline, 'methinks I shall be 
able to prevent his troubling the good company.' 

'No violence, Joceline, on your life,' said Albert Lee; 
and AUce echoed, 'For God's sake, no violence!' 

'No unnecessary violence at least,' said the good 
knight; 'for, if the time demands it, I will have it seen 
that I am master of my own house.' 

Joceline Joliffe nodded assent to all parties, and went 
on tiptoe to exchange one or two other mysterious sym- 
bols and knocks ere he opened the door. 

It may be here remarked, that this species of secret 
association, with its signals of union, existed among the 
more dissolute and desperate class of Cavaliers — men 
habituated to the dissipated life which they had been 
accustomed to in an ill-disciplined army, where every- 
thing Hke order and regularity was too apt to be ac- 
counted a badge of Puritanism. These were the 'roar- 



ing boys 'who met in hedge alehouses, and, when they 
had by any chance obtained a Uttle money or a little 
credit, determined to create a counter-revolution by de- 
claring their sittings permanent, and proclaimed, in the 
words of one of their choicest ditties — 

We'll drink till we bring 
In triumph back the king. 

The leaders and gentry, of a higher description and more 
regular morals, did not indeed partake such excesses, but 
they still kept their eye upon a class of persons who, from 
courage and desperation, were capable of serving on an 
advantageous occasion the fallen cause of Royalty; and 
recorded the lodges and blind taverns at which they met, 
as wholesale merchants know the houses of call of the 
mechanics whom they may have occasion to employ, 
and can tell where they may find them when need re- 
quires. It is scarce necessary to add, that among the 
lower class, and sometimes even among the higher, 
there were men found capable of betraying the projects 
and conspiracies of their associates, whether well or in- 
differently combined, to the governors of the state. 
Cromwell, in particular, had gained some correspond- 
ents of this kind of the highest rank and of the most 
undoubted character among the Royalists, who, if they 
made scruple of impeaching or betraying individuals 
who confided in them, had no hesitation in giving the 
government such general information as served to en- 
able him to disappoint the purposes of any plot or 

To return to our story. In much shorter time than we 
have spent in reminding the reader of these historical 



particulars, Joliffe had made his mystic communication; 
and being duly answered as by one of the initiated, he 
undid the door, and there entered our old friend Roger 
Wildrake, Roundhead in dress, as his safety and his 
dependence on Colonel Everard compelled him to be, 
but that dress worn in a most Cavalier-like manner, and 
forming a stronger contrast than usual with the de- 
meanour and language of the wearer, to which it was 
never very congenial. 

His Puritanic hat, the emblem of that of Ralpho in the 
prints to 'Hudibras,' or, as he called it, his felt umbrella, 
was set most knowingly on one side of the head, as if it 
had been a Spanish hat and feather; his straight, square- 
caped, sad-coloured cloak was flung gaily upon one 
shoulder, as if it had been of three-piled taffeta, lined 
with crimson silk; and he paraded his huge calf-skin 
boots, as if they had been silken hose and Spanish 
leather shoes, with roses on the instep. In short, the airs 
which he gave himself, of a most thoroughpaced wild 
gallant and Cavalier, joined to a glistening of self- 
satisfaction in his eye and an inimitable swagger in his 
gait, which completely announced his thoughtless, con- 
ceited, and reckless character, formed a most ridiculous 
contrast to his gravity of attire. 

It could not, on the other hand, be denied that, in 
spite of the touch of ridicule which attached to his char- 
acter, and the loose morality which he had learned in the 
dissipation of town pleasures, and afterwards in the dis- 
orderly life of a soldier, Wildrake had points about him 
both to make him feared and respected. He was hand- 
some, even in spite of his air of debauched effrontery; a 
man of the most decided courage, though his vaunting 



rendered it sometimes doubtful; and entertained a sin- 
cere sense of his political principles, such as they were, 
though he was often so imprudent in asserting and 
boasting of them as, joined with his dependence on 
Colonel Everard, induced prudent men to doubt his 

Such as he was, however, he entered the parlour of 
Victor Lee, where his presence was anything but desir- 
able to the parties present, with a jaunty step, and a 
consciousness of deserving the best possible reception. 
This assurance was greatly aided by circumstances 
which rendered it obvious that, if the jocund Cavalier 
had limited himself to one draught of liquor that even- 
ing, in terms of his vow of temperance, it must have 
been a very deep and long one. 

* Save ye, gentlemen — save ye. Save you, good Sir 
Henry Lee, though I have scarce the honour to be known 
to you. Save you, worthy Doctor, and a speedy resur- 
rection to the fallen Church of England.' 

'You are welcome, sir,' said Sir Henry Lee, whose 
feelings of hospitality, and of the fraternal reception due 
to a Royalist sufferer, induced him to tolerate this in- 
trusion more than he might have done otherwise. 'If 
you have fought or suffered for the King, sir, it is an 
excuse for joining us, and commanding our services in 
anything in our power, although at present we are a 
family-party. But I think I saw you in waiting upon 
Master Markham Everard, who calls himself Colonel 
Everard. If your message is from him, you may wish to 
see me in private?' 

'Not at all. Sir Henry — not at all. It is true, as my 
ill hap will have it, that, being on the stormy side of the 



hedge, like all honest men — you understand me, Sir 
Henry — I am glad, as it were, to gain something from 
my old friend and comrade's countenance, not by truck- 
Hng or disowning my principles, sir — I defy such prac- 
tices — but, in short, by doing him any kindness in my 
power when he is pleased to call on me. So I came down 
here with a message from him to the old Roundheaded 
son of a — I beg the young lady's pardon, from the 
crown of her head down to the very toes of her shpper. 
And so, sir, chancing as I was stumbHng out in the dark, 
I heard you give a toast, sir, which warmed my heart, 
sir, and ever will, sir, till death chills it; and so I made 
bold to let you know there was an honest man within 

Such was the self-introduction of Master Wildrake, to 
which the knight repHed, by asking him to sit down and 
take a glass of sack to his Majesty's glorious restoration. 
Wildrake, at this hint, squeezed in without ceremony 
beside the young Scotsman, and not only pledged his 
landlord's toast, but seconded its import, by volunteer- 
ing a verse or two of his favourite loyal ditty, 'The King 
shall enjoy his own again.' The heartiness which he 
threw into his song opened still further the heart of the 
old knight, though Albert and Alice looked at each other 
with looks resentful of the intrusion, and desirous to put 
an end to it. The Honourable Master Kerneguy either 
possessed that happy indifference of temper which does 
not deign to notice such circumstances, or he was able 
to assume the appearance of it to perfection, as he sat 
sipping sack and cracking walnuts, without testifying 
the least sense that an addition had been made to the 
party. Wildrake, who liked the liquor and the company^ 



showed no unwillingness to repay his landlord, by being 
at the expense of the conversation. 

'You talk of fighting and suffering, Sir Henry Lee — 
Lord help us, we have all had our share. All the world 
knows what Sir Henry Lee has done from Edgefield 
downwards, wherever a loyal sword was drawn or a 
loyal flag fluttered. Ah, God help us ! I have done some- 
thing too. My name is Roger Wildrake of Squattlesea 
Mere, Lincoln ; not that you are ever like to have heard 
it before, but I was captain in Lunsford's light horse, 
and afterwards with Goring. I was a child-eater, sir — a 

*I have heard of your regiment's exploits, sir; and 
perhaps you may find I have seen some of them, if we 
should spend ten minutes together. And I think I have 
heard of your name too. I beg to drink your health. 
Captain Wildrake of Squattlesea Mere, Lincolnshire.' 

'Sir Henry, I drink yours in this pint bumper, and 
upon my knee; and I would do as much for that young 
gentleman (looking at Albert) , and the squire of the 
green cassock, too, holding it for green, as the colours 
are not to my eyes altogether clear and distinguishable.' 

It was a remarkable part of what is cafled by theatri- 
cal folk the bye-play of this scene, that Albert was con- 
versing apart with Dr. Rochecliffe in whispers, even 
more than the divine seemed desirous of encouraging, 
yet, to whatever their private conversation referred, it 
did not deprive the young colonel of the power of Hsten- 
ing to what was going forward in the party at large, and 
interfering from time to time, like a watch-dog who can 
distinguish the slightest alarm even when employed in 
the engrossing process of taking his food. 



* Captain Wildrake,' said Albert, 'we have no objec- 
tion — I mean my friend and I — to be communicative on 
proper occasions; but you, sir, who are so old a sufferer, 
must needs know, that at such casual meetings as this 
men do not mention their names unless they are spe- 
cially wanted. It is a point of conscience, sir, to be able 
to say, if your principal. Captain Everard, or Colonel 
Everard, if he be a colonel, should examine you upon 
oath, "I did not know who the persons were whom I 
heard drink such and such toasts.'" 

'Faith, I have a better way of it, worthy sir,' an- 
swered Wildrake : ' I never can, for the life of me, remem- 
ber that there were any such and such toasts dnmk at 
all. It's a strange gift of forgetfulness I have.' 

'Well, sir,' replied the younger Lee; * but we, who have 
unhappily more tenacious memories, would willingly 
abide by the more general rule.' 

*0h, sir,' answered Wildrake, 'with all my heart. I 
intrude on no man's confidence, d — n me, and I only 
spoke for civility's sake, having the purpose of drinking 
your health in a good fashion.' Then he broke forth into 

* Then let the health go round, a-round, a-round, a-round, 
Then let the health go round. 
For though your stocking be of silk, 

Your knee shall kiss the ground, a-ground, a-ground, a-ground, 
Your knee shall kiss the ground.' 

'Urge it no further,' said Sir Henry, addressing his 
son. ' Master Wildrake is one of the old school — one of 
the tantivy boys; and we must bear a Httle, for if they 
drink hard, they fought well. I will never forget how a 
party came up and rescued us clerks of Oxford, as they 



called the regiment I belonged to, out of a cursed em- 
broglio during the attack on Brentford. I tell you, we 
were inclosed with the cockneys' pikes both front and 
rear, and we should have come off but ill, had not 
Lunsford's light horse, the babe-eaters, as they called 
them, charged up to the pike's point and brought us off.' 

* I am glad you thought on that. Sir Henry,' said Wild- 
rake; 'and do you remember what the officer of Luns- 
ford's said? ' 

. 'I think I do,' said Sir Henry, smiling. 
' 'Well, then, did not he call out, when the women were 
coming down, howling like sirens as they were, "Have 
none of you a plump child that you could give us, to 
break our fast upon?'" 

* Truth itself ! ' said the knight ; * and a great fat woman 
stepped forward with a baby, and offered it to the sup- 
posed cannibal.' 

All at the table, Master Kerneguy excepted, who 
seemed to think that good food of any kind required no 
apology, held up their hands in token of amazement. 

'Ay,' said Wildrake, 'the — a-hem! — I crave the 
lady's pardon again, from tip of top-knot to hem of 
farthingale — but the cursed creature proved to be a 
parish nurse, who had been paid for the child half a year 
in advance. God, I took the baby out of the bitch- 
wolf's hand; and I have contrived, though God knows 
I have lived in a skeldering sort of way myself, to breed 
up bold Breakfast, as I call him, ever since. It was pay- 
ing dear for a jest, though.' 

'Sir, I honour you for your humanity,' said the old 
knight. 'Sir, I thank you for your courage. Sir, I am 
glad to see you here,' said the good knight, his eyes wat- 



ering almost to overflowing. 'So you were the wild 
officer who cut us out of the toils? Oh, sir, had you but 
stopped when I called on you, and allowed us to clear the 
streets of Brentford with our musketeers, we would have 
been at London Stone that day ! But your good- will was 
the same.' 

'Ay, truly was it,' said Wildrake, who now sat trium- 
phant and glorious in his easy-chair. 'And here is to all 
the brave hearts, sir, that fought and fell in that same 
storm of Brentford. We drove all before us like chaff, 
till the shops, where they sold strong waters, and other 
temptations, brought us up. Gad, sir, we, the babe- 
eaters, had too many acquaintances in Brentford, and 
our stout Prince Rupert was ever better at making way 
than drawing off. Gad, sir, for my own poor share, I did 
but go into the house of a poor widow lady, who main- 
tained a charge of daughters, and whom I had known of 
old, to get my horse fed, a morsel of meat, and so forth, 
when these cockney pikes of the artillery ground, as you 
very well call them, rallied, and came in with their 
armed heads, as boldly as so many Cotswold rams. I 
sprang downstairs — got to my horse; but, egad, I fancy 
all my troop had widows and orphan maidens to comfort 
as well as I, for only five of us got together. We cut our 
way through successfully; and gad, gentlemen, I carried 
my little Breakfast on the pommel before me; and there 
was such a hollowing and screeching, as if the whole 
town thought I was to kill, roast, and eat the poor child 
so soon as I got to quarters. But devil a cockney 
charged up to my bonny bay, poor lass, to rescue little 
cake-bread; they only cried "Haro," and "Out upon 



*Alas! alas!' said the knight, 'we made ourselves seem 
worse than we were; and we were too bad to deserve 
God's blessing even in a good cause. But it is needless to 
look back; we did not deserve victories when God gave 
them, for we never improved them like good soldiers, or 
like Christian men; and so we gave these canting scoun- 
drels the advantage of us, for they assumed, out of mere 
hypocrisy, the discipHne and orderly behaviour which 
we, who drew our swords in a better cause, ought to have 
practised out of true principle. But here is my hand, 
captain. I have often wished to see the honest fellow 
who charged up so smartly in our behalf, and I reverence 
you for the care you took of the poor child. I am glad 
this dilapidated place has still some hospitality to offer 
you, although we cannot treat you to roasted babes or 
stewed sucklings — eh, captain?' 

'Troth, Sir Henry, the scandal was sore against us on 
that score. I remember Lacy, who was an old play-actor, 
and a lieutenant in ours, made drollery on it in a play 
which was sometimes acted at Oxford when our hearts 
were something up, called, I think, the Old Troop.' ^ 

So saying, and feeling more familiar as his merits were 
known, he hitched his chair up against that of the Scot- 
tish lad, who was seated next him, and who, in shifting 
his place, was awkward enough to disturb, in his turn, 
Alice Lee, who sat opposite, and, a little offended, or at 
least embarrassed, drew her chair away from the table. 
*I crave pardon,' said the Honourable Master Kerne- 
guy; 'but, sir,' to Master Wildrake, 'ye hae e'en garr'd 
me hurt the young lady's shank.' 

' I crave your pardon, sir, and much more that of the 
^ See Note i. 


fair lady, as is reasonable; though, rat me, sir, if it was I 
set your chair a-trundling in that way. Zooks, sir, I have 
brought with me no plague, nor pestilence, nor other in- 
fectious disorder, that ye should have started away as if 
I had been a leper, and discomposed the lady, which I 
would have prevented with my life, sir. Sir, if ye be 
Northern-born, as your tongue bespeaks, egad, it was I 
ran the risk in drawing near you; so there was small 
reason for you to bolt.' 

'Master Wildrake,' said Albert, interfering, 'this 
young gentleman is a stranger as well as you, under pro- 
tection of Sir Henry's hospitality, and it cannot be agree- 
able for my father to see disputes arise among his guests. 
You may mistake the young gentleman's quaUty from 
his present appearance: this is the Honourable Master 
Louis Kerneguy, sir, son of my Lord Killstewers of 
Kincardineshire, one who has fought for the King, young 
as he is.' 

'No dispute shall rise through me, sir — none through 
me,' said Wildrake; 'your exposition sufficeth, sir. Mas- 
ter Louis Girnigo, son of my Lord Kilsteer, in Gringar- 
denshire, I am your humble slave, sir, and drink your 
health, in token that I honour you, and all true Scots 
who draw their Andrew Ferraras on the right side, sir.' 

'I 'se beholden to you, and thank you, sir,' said the 
young man, with some haughtiness of manner, which 
hardly corresponded with his rusticity; 'and I wuss your 
health in a ceevil way.' 

Most judicious persons would have here dropped the 
conversation; but it was one of Wildrake's marked pe- 
culiarities that he could never let matters stand when 
they were well. He continued to plague the shy, proud, 

38 49 


and awkward lad with his observations. 'You speak 
your national dialect pretty strongly, Master Girnigo/ 
said he, ' but I think not quite the language of the gal- 
lants that I have known among the Scottish Cavaliers. 
I knew, for example, some of the Gordons, and others of 
good repute, who always put an/ for the wh, a.sfaat for 
what, fan for when, and the like.' 

Albert Lee here interposed, and said that the pro- 
vinces of Scotland, like those of England, had their 
different modes of pronunciation. 

'You are very right, sir,' said Wildrake. *I reckon 
myself, now, a pretty good speaker of their cursed jargon 
• — no offence, young gentleman ; and yet, when I took a 
turn with some of Montrose's folk, in the South Hie- 
lands, as they call their beastly wildernesses — no 
offence again — I chanced to be by myself, and to lose 
my way, when I said to a shepherd fellow, making my 
mouth as wide and my voice as broad as I could, 
"Whore am I ganging till?" confound me if the fellow 
could answer me, unless, indeed, he was sulky, as the 
bumpkins will be now and then to the gentlemen of the 

This was familiarly spoken, and though partly ad- 
dressed to Albert, was still more directed to his immedi- 
ate neighbour, the young Scotsman, who seemed, from 
bashfulness, or some other reason, rather shy of his 
intimacy. To one or two personal touches from Wild- 
rake's elbow, administered during his last speech, by 
way of a practical appeal to him in particular, he only 
answered, 'Misunderstandings were to be expected 
when men converse in national deealects.' 

Wildrake, now considerably drunker than he ought to 



have been in civil company, caught up the phrase and 

repeated it. * Misunderstanding, sir — misunderstand- 
ing, sir! I do not know how I am to construe that, sir; 
but, to judge from the information of these scratches on 
your honourable visnomy, I should augur that you had 
been of late at misunderstanding with the cat, sir.' 

'You are mistaken, then, friend, for it was with the 
dowg,' answered the Scotsman, drily, and cast a look 
towards Albert. 

* We had some trouble with the watch-dogs in entering 
so late in the evening,' said Albert, in explanation, 'and 
this youth had a fall among some rubbish, by which he 
came by these scratches.' 

'And now, dear Sir Henry,' said Dr. Rochecliffe, 'al- 
low us to remind you of your gout, and our long journey. 
I do it the rather that my good friend your son has been, 
during the whole time of supper, putting questions to me 
aside, which had much better be reserved till to-morrow. 
May we therefore ask permsision to retire to our night's 
rest? ' 

'These private committees in a merry meeting,' said 
Wildrake, 'are a solecism in breeding. They always put 
me in mind of the cursed committees at Westminster. 
But shall we to roost before we rouse the night-owl with 
a catch? ' 

'Aha, canst thou quote Shakespeare?' said Sir Henry, 
pleased at discovering a new good quality in his ac- 
quaintance, whose military services were otherwise but 
just able to counterbalance the intrusive freedom of his 
conversation. 'In the name of merry Will,' he con- 
tinued — 'whom I never saw, though I have seen many 
of his comrades, as Alleyn, Hemminge, and so on, we will 



have a single catch, and one rouse about, and then to 

After the usual discussion about the choice of the 
song, and the parts which each was to bear, they united 
their voices in trolling a loyal glee, which was popular 
among the party at the time, and in fact believed to be 
composed by no less a person than Dr. Rochecliffe 

(3ltt for feinff CI)arIe6 

Bring the bowl which you boast, 

Fill it up to the brim; 
'T is to him we love most, 

And to all who love him. 
Brave gallants, stand up, 

And avaunt, ye base cades! 
Were there death in the cup, 

Here's a health to King Chades! 

Though he wanders through dangers, 

Unaided, unknown, 
Dependent on strangers, 

Estranged from his own; 
Though 't is under our breath, 

Amidst forfeits and perils, 
Here 's to honour and faith, 

And a health to King Charles I 

Let such honours abound 

As the time can afford, 
The knee on the ground 

And the hand on the sword; 
But the time shall come round, 

When, 'mid lords, dukes, and earls, 
The loud trumpets shall sound 

Here's a health to King Charles! 

After this display of loyalty, and a final libation, the 
party took leave of each other for the night. Sir Henry 



ofifered his old acquaintance Wildrake a bed for the 
evening, who weighed the matter somewhat in this 
fashion: 'Why, to speak truth, my patron will expect me 
at the borough; but then he is used to my staying out of 
doors anights. Then there's the Devil, that they say 
haunts Woodstock; but with the blessing of this rever- 
end doctor, I defy him and all his works. I saw him not 
when I slept here twice before, and I am sure if he was 
absent then, he has not come back with Sir Henry Lee 
and his family. So I accept your courtesy. Sir Henry, 
and I thank you, as a Cavalier of Lunsford should thank 
one of the fighting clerks of Oxon. God bless the King! 
I care not who hears it, and confusion to Noll and his red 
nose!' Off he went accordingly with a bottle-swagger, 
guided by Joceline, to whom Albert, in the meantime, 
had whispered, to be sure to quarter him far enough 
from the rest of the family. 

Young Lee then saluted his sister, and, with the form- 
ality of those times, asked and received his father's 
blessing with an affectionate embrace. His page seemed 
desirous to imitate one part of his example, but was 
repelled by Alice, who only replied to his offered salute 
with a curtsy. He next bowed his head in an awkward 
fashion to her father, who wished him a good-night. * I 
am glad to see, young man,' he said, 'that you have at 
least learned the reverence due to age. It should always 
be paid, sir; because in doing so you render that honour 
to others which you will expect yourself to receive when 
you approach the close of your Ufe. More will I speak 
with you at leisure, on your duties as a page, which 
office in former days used to be the very school of chiv- 
alry; whereas of late, by the disorderly times, it has be- 



come little better than a school of wild and disordered 
license, which made rare Ben Jonson exclaim — ' 

*Nay, father/ said Albert, interposing, 'you must 
consider this day's fatigue, and the poor lad is almost 
asleep on his legs; to-morrow, he will listen with more 
profit to your kind admonitions. And you, Louis, re- 
member at least one part of your duty : take the candles 
and light us — here Joceline comes to show us the way. 
Once more, good-night, good Dr. Rochecliffe — good- 
night, all.' 


Groom. Hafl, royal prince! 

King Richard. Thanks, noble peerl 

The cheapest of us is ten groats too dear. 

Richard II. 

Albert and his page were ushered by Joceline to what 
was called the Spanish chamber, a huge old scrambling 
bedroom, rather in a dilapidated condition, but furnished 
with a large standing-bed for the master and a truckle- 
bed for the domestic, as was common at a much later 
period in old English houses, where the gentleman often 
required the assistance of a groom of the chambers to 
help him to bed, if the hospitahty had been exuberant. 
The walls were covered with hangings of cordovan 
leather, stamped with gold, and representing fights be- 
tween the Spaniards and Moriscoes, bull-feasts, and 
other sports peculiar to the Peninsula, from which it 
took its name of the Spanish Chamber. These hangings 
were in some places entirely torn down, in others defaced 
and hanging in tatters. But Albert stopped not to make 
observations, anxious, it seemed, to get Joceline out of 
the room ; which he achieved by hastily answering his of- 
fers of fresh fuel, and more liquor, in the negative, and 
returning, with equal conciseness, the under-keeper's 
good wishes for the evening. He at length retired, some- 
what unwilHngly, and as if he thought that his young 
master might have bestowed a few more words upon a 
faithful old retainer after so long absence. 
Joliffe was no sooner gone than, before a single word 



was spoken between Albert Lee and his page, the former 
hastened to the door, examined lock, latch, and bolt, 
and made them fast, with the most scrupulous attention. 
He superadded to these precautions that of a long screw- 
bolt, which he brought out of his pocket, and which he 
screwed on to the staple in such a manner as to render 
it impossible to withdraw it, or open the door, unless by 
breaking it down. The page held a light to him during 
the operation, which his master went through with much 
exactness and dexterity. But when Albert arose from 
his knee, on which he had rested during the accomplish- 
ment of this task, the manner of the companions was 
on the sudden entirely changed towards each other. The 
Honourable Master Kerneguy, from a cubbish lout of a 
raw Scotsman, seemed to have acquired at once all the 
grace and ease of motion and manner which could be 
given by an acquaintance of the earliest and most fa- 
miliar kind with the best company of the time. 

He gave the light he held to Albert with the easy in- 
difference of a superior, who rather graces than troubles 
his dependant by giving him some sUght service to per- 
form. Albert, with the greatest appearance of deference, 
assumed in his turn the character of a torch-bearer, and 
lighted his page across the chamber, without turning 
his back upon him, as he did so. He then set the Hght 
on a table by the bedside, and, approaching the young 
man with deep reverence, received from him the soiled 
green jacket with the same profound respect as if he had 
been a first lord of the bedchamber, or other officer of 
the household of the highest distinction, disrobing his 
sovereign of the Mantle of the Garter, The person 
to whom this ceremony was addressed endured it for a 



minute or two with profound gravity, and then burst- 
ing out a laughing, exclaimed to Albert, * What a devil 
means all this formality? thou complimentest with these 
miserable rags as if they were silks and sables, and with 
poor Louis Kerneguy as if he were the King of Great 

'And if your Majesty's commands, and the circum- 
stances of the time, had made me for a moment seem to 
forget that you are my sovereign, surely I may be per- 
mitted to render my homage as such while you are in 
your own royal palace of Woodstock?' 

'Truly,' replied the disguised monarch, 'the sovereign 
and the palace are not ill matched : these tattered hang- 
ings and my ragged jerkin suit each other admirably. 
This Woodstock ! — this the bower where the royal 
Norman revelled with the fair Rosamond ClifTord ! Why, 
it is a place of assignation for owls!' Then, suddenly 
recollecting himself, with his natural courtesy, he added, 
as if fearing he might have hurt Albert's feeUngs — ' But 
the more obscure and retired, it is the fitter for our pur- 
pose, Lee; and if it does seem to be a roost for owls, as 
there is no denying, why, we know it has nevertheless 
brought up eagles.' 

He threw himself as he spoke upon a chair, and in- 
dolently, but gracefully, received the kind offices of Al- 
bert, who undid the coarse buttonings of the leather 
gamashes which defended his legs, and spoke to him the 
whilst. ' What a fine specimen of the olden times is your 
father. Sir Henry! It is strange I should not have seen 
him before ; but I heard my father often speak of him as 
being among the flower of our real old English gentry. 
By the mode in which he began to school me, I can guess 



you had a tight taskmaster of him, Albert. I warrant 
you never wore hat in his presence, eh? ' 

' I never cocked it at least in his presence, please your 
Majesty, as I have seen some youngsters do,' answered 
Albert; 'indeed, if I had, it must have been a stout 
beaver to have saved me from a broken head.' 

'Oh, I doubt it not,' repHed the King; *a fine old 
gentleman, but with that, methinks, in his countenance 
that assures you he would not hate the child in sparing 
the rod. Hark ye, Albert. Suppose the same glorious 
Restoration come round, which, if drinking to its arrival 
can hasten it, should not be far distant, for in that par- 
ticular our adherents never neglect their duty — suppose 
it come, therefore, and that thy father, as must be, of 
course, becomes an earl and one of the privy council, 
odds-fish, man, I shall be as much afraid of him as ever 
was my grandfather Henri Quatre of old Sully. Imagine 
there were such a trinket now about the court as the 
Fair Rosamond, or La Belle Gabrielle, what a work there 
would be of pages and grooms of the chamber to get the 
pretty rogue clandestinely shufiled out by the back- 
stairs, like a prohibited commodity, when the step of 
the Earl of Woodstock was heard in the ante-chamber.' 

'I am glad to see your Majesty so merry after your 
fatiguing journey.' 

'The fatigue was nothing, man,' said Charles; 'a kind 
welcome and a good meal made amends for all that. 
But they must have suspected thee of bringing a wolf 
from the braes of Badenoch along with you, instead of a 
two-legged being, with no more than the usual allow- 
ance of mortal stowage for provisions. I was really 
ashamed of my appetite; but thou knowest I had eat 



nothing for twenty-four hours, save the raw egg you 
stole for me from the old woman's hen-roost. I tell thee, 
I blushed to show myself so ravenous before that high- 
bred and respectable old gentleman your father, and the 
very pretty girl your sister — or cousin, is she? ' 

'She is my sister,' said Albert Lee, drily, and added, 
in the same breath, 'Your Majesty's appetite suited 
well enough with the character of a raw Northern lad. 
Would your Majesty now please to retire to rest?' 

'Not for a minute or two,' said the King, retaininp' 
his seat. ' Why, man, I have scarce had my tongue un- 
chained to-day; and to talk with that Northern twang, 
and besides, the fatigue of being obhged to speak every 
word in character — gad, it 's Uke walking as the gal- 
ley-slaves do on the Continent, with a twenty-four 
pound shot chained to their legs: they may drag it along, 
but they cannot move with comfort. And, by the way, 
thou art slack in pacing me my well-deserved tribute 
of compUments on my counterfeiting. Did I not play 
Louis Kerneguy as round as a ring?' 

'If your Majesty asks my serious opinion, perhaps I 
may be forgiven if I say your dialect was somewhat 
too coarse for a Scottish youth of high birth, and your 
behaviour perhaps a Httle too churHsh. I thought too, 
though I pretend not to be skilful, that some of your 
Scottish sounded as if it were not genuine.' 

'Not genuine? There is no pleasing thee, Albert. 
Why, who should speak genuine Scottish but myself ? 
Was I not their king for a matter of ten months? and 
if I did not get knowledge of their language, I wonder 
what else I got by it. Did not cast country, and south 
country, and west country, and Highlands caw, croak, 



and shriek about me, as the deep guttural, the broad 
drawl, and the high sharp yelp predominated by turns ? 
Odds-fish, man, have I not been speeched at by their 
orators, addressed by their senators, rebuked by their 
kirkmen? Have I not sate on the cutty-stool, mon [again 
assuming the Northern dialect], and thought it grace 
of worthy Mas John Gillespie, that I was permitted to 
do penance in mine own privy chamber, instead of the 
face of the congregation, and wilt thou tell me, after all, 
that I cannot speak Scotch enough to baffle an Oxon 
knight and his family? ' 

'May it please your Majesty, I began by saying I was 
no judge of the Scottish language.' 

'Pshaw, it is mere envy; just so you said at Norton's, 
that I was too courteous and civil for a young page — 
now you think me too rude.' 

'And there is a medium, if one could find it,' said 
Albert, defending his opinion in the same tone in which 
the King attacked him ; ' so this morning, when you were 
in the woman's dress, you raised your petticoats rather 
unbecomingly high, as you waded through the first little 
stream ; and when I told you of it, to mend the matter, 
you draggled through the next without raising them at 

'O, the devil take the woman's dress!' said Charles; 
'I hope I shall never be driven to that disguise again. 
Why, my ugly face was enough to put gowns, caps, and 
kirtles out of fashion for ever: the very dogs fled from 
me. Had I passed any hamlet that had but five huts in 
it, I could not have escaped the cucking-stool. I was 
a libel on womanhood. These leathern conveniences are 
none of the gayest, but they are propria quce marihus; 



and right glad am I to be repossessed of them. I can tell 
you too, my friend, I shall resume all my masculine 
privileges with my proper habiliments; and as you say 
I have been too coarse to-night, I will behave myself like 
a courtier to Mistress Alice to-morrow. I made a sort 
of acquaintance with her already, when I seemed to be 
of the same sex with herself, and found out there are 
other colonels in the wind besides you, Colonel Albert 

'May it please your Majesty,' said Albert, and then 
stopped short, from the diiSculty of finding words to 
express the unpleasant nature of his feelings. 

They could not escape Charles; but he proceeded 
without scruple. 'I pique myself on seeing as far into 
the hearts of young ladies as most folk, though God 
knows they are sometimes too deep for the wisest of us. 
But I mentioned to your sister in my character of for- 
tune-teller — thinking, poor simple man, that a country 
girl must have no one but her brother to dream about 
— that she was anxious about a certain colonel. I had 
hit the theme, but not the person; for I alluded to you, 
Albert, and I presume the blush was too deep ever to be 
given to a brother. So up she got, and away she flew 
from me like a lapwing. I can excuse her; for, looking at 
myself in the well, I think if I had met such a creature 
as I seemed I should have called fire and fagot against 
it. Now, what think you, Albert — who can this colonel 
be, that more than rivals you in your sister's affection?' 

Albert, who well knew that the King's mode of think- 
ing, where the fair sex was concerned, was far more gay 
than delicate, endeavoured to put a stop to the present 
topic by a grave answer. 



'His sister,' he said, 'had been in some measure edu- 
cated with the son of her maternal uncle, Markham 
Everard; but as his father and he himself had adopted 
the cause of the Roundheads, the families had in conse- 
quence been at variance ; and any projects which might 
have been formerly entertained were of course long since 
dismissed on all sides.' 

'You are wrong, Albert — you are wrong,' said the 
King, pitilessly pursuing his jest. ' You colonels, whether 
you wear blue or orange sashes, are too pretty fellows to 
be dismissed so easily, when once you have acquired an 
interest. But Mistress Alice, so pretty, and who wishes 
the restoration of the King with such a look and accent, 
as if she were an angel whose prayers must needs bring 
it down, must not be allowed to retain any thoughts of 
a canting Roundhead. What say you — will you give 
me leave to take her to task about it? After all, I am 
the party most concerned in maintaining true allegiance 
among my subjects; and if I gain the pretty maiden's 
good-will, that of the sweetheart will soon follow. This 
was jolly King Edward's way — Edward the Fourth, 
you know. The king-making Earl of Warwick, the 
Cromwell of his day, dethroned him more than once; 
but he had the hearts of the merry dames of London, and 
the purses and veins of the cockneys bled freely, till they 
brought him home again. How say you? shall I shake off 
my Northern slough, and speak with Alice in my own 
character, showing what education and manners have 
done for me, to make the best amends they can for an 
ugly face?' 

'May it please your Majesty,' said Albert, in an al- 
tered and embarrassed tone, 'I did not expect — ' 



Here he stopped, not able to find words adequate at 
the same time to express his sentiments and respectful 
enough to the King, while in his father's house and under 
his own protection. 

'And what is it that Master Lee does not expect?' 
said Charles, with marked gravity on his part. 

Again Albert attempted a reply, but advanced no 
further than, 'I would hope, if it please your Majesty 
— 'when he again stopped short, his deep and hereditary 
respect for his sovereign, and his sense of the hospitality 
due to his misfortunes, preventing his giving utterance 
to his irritated feelings. 

'And what does Colonel Albert Lee hope?' said 
Charles, in the same dry and cold manner in which he 
had before spoken. 'No answer! Now, / /?o/>e that Colo- 
nel Lee does not see in a silly jest anything ofifensive 
to the honour of his family, since methinks that were 
an indifferent compHment to his sister, his father, and 
himself, not to mention Charles Stuart, whom he calls 
his king'; and / expect that I shall not be so hardly con- 
strued as to be supposed capable of forgetting that Mis- 
tress Alice Lee is the daughter of my faithful subject 
and host, and the sister of my guide and preserver. 
Come — come, Albert,' he added, changing at once to 
his naturally frank and unceremonious manner, 'you 
forget how long I have been abroad, where men, women, 
and children talk gallantry morning, noon, and night, 
with no more serious thought than just to pass away the 
time; and I forget too, that you are of the old-fashioned 
English school, a son after Sir Henry's own heart, and 
don't understand raillery upon such subjects. But I ask 
your pardon, Albert, sincerely, if I have really hurt you.* 



So saying, he extended his hand to Colonel Lee, who, 
feeling he had been rather too hasty in construing the 
King's jest in an unpleasant sense, kissed it with rever- 
ence, and attempted an apology. 

'Not a word — not a word,' said the good-natured 
prince, raising his penitent adherent as he attempted to 
kneel; 'we understand each other. You are somewhat 
afraid of the gay reputation which I acquired in Scot- 
land; but I assure you, I will be as stupid as you or 
your cousin colonel could desire in presence of Mrs. Alice 
Lee, and only bestow my gallantry, should I have any 
to throw away, upon the pretty little waiting-maid who 
attended at supper — unless you should have monop- 
olised her ear for your own benefit. Colonel Albert.' 

*It is monopolised, sure enough, though not by me, 
if it please your Majesty, but by Joceline Johffe, the 
under-keeper, whom we must not disoblige, as we have 
trusted him so far already, and may have occasion to 
repose even entire confidence in him. I half think he 
suspects who Louis Kerneguy may in reality be.' 

'You are an engrossing set, you wooers of Wood- 
stock,' said the King, laughing. ' Now, if I had a fancy, 
as a Frenchman would not fail to have in such a case, 
to make pretty speeches to the deaf old woman I saw 
in the kitchen, as a pis-aller, I dare say I should be told 
that her ear was engrossed for Dr. Rochecliffe's sole use?' 

' I marvel at your Majesty's good spirits,' said Albert, 
' that, after a day of danger, fatigue, and accidents, you 
should feel the power of amusing yourself thus.' 

'That is to say, the groom of the chambers wishes his 
Majesty would go to sleep? Well, one word or two on 
more serious business, and I have done. I have been 



completely directed by you and Rochecliffe: I have 
changed my disguise from female to male upon the 
instant, and altered my destination from Hampshire to 
take shelter here. Do you still hold it to the wiser 

*I have great confidence in Dr. Rochechffe/ replied 
Albert, 'whose acquaintance with the scattered Royal- 
ists enables him to gain the most accurate intelligence. 
His pride in the extent of his correspondence, and the 
complication of his plots and schemes for your Majesty's 
service, is indeed the very food he hves upon; but his 
sagacity is equal to his vanity. I repose, besides, the 
utmost faith in Joliffe. Of my father and sister I would 
say nothing; yet I would not, without reason, extend 
the knowledge of your Majesty's person farther than it 
is indispensably necessary.' 

*Is it handsome in me,' said Charles, pausing, 'to 
withhold my full confidence from Sir Henry Lee?' 

'Your Majesty heard of his almost death-swoon of 
last night: what would agitate him most deeply must 
not be hastily communicated.' 

'True; but are we safe from a visit of the redcoats: 
they have them in Woodstock as well as in Oxford?' 
said Charles. 

*Dr. Rochecliffe says, not unwisely,' answered Lee, 
'that it is best sitting near the fire when the chimney 
smokes; and that Woodstock, so lately in possession of 
the sequestrators, and still in the vicinity of the soldiers, 
will be less suspected, and more carelessly searched, 
than more distant corners, which might seem to promise 
more safety. Besides,' he added, 'Rochecliffe is in pos- 
session of curious and important news concerning the 

.38 6s 


state of matters at Woodstock, highly favourable to your 
Majesty's being concealed in the palace for two or three 
days, till shipping is provided. The Parliament, or 
usurping Council of State, had sent down sequestrators, 
whom their own evil consciences, assisted, perhaps, by 
the tricks of some daring Cavaliers, had frightened out 
of the lodge, without much desire to come back again. 
Then the more formidable usurper, Cromwell, had 
granted a warrant of possession to Colonel Everard, who 
had only used it for the purpose of repossessing his uncle 
in the lodge, and who kept watch in person at the little 
' borough, to see that Sir Henry was not disturbed.' 

'What! Mistress Alice's colonel?' said the King. 
' That sounds alarming; for, grant that he keeps the other 
fellows at bay, think you not. Master Albert, he will 
have an hundred errands a-day to bring him here in 
person? ' 

'Dr. Rochecliffe says,' answered Lee, 'the treaty be- 
tween Sir Henry and his nephew binds the latter not to 
approach the lodge unless invited; indeed, it was not 
without great difficulty, and strongly arguing the good 
consequences it might produce to your Majesty's cause, 
that my father could be prevailed on to occupy Wood- 
stock at all; but be assured he will be in no hurry to 
send an invitation to the colonel.' 

'And be you assured that the colonel will come with- 
out waiting for one,' said Charles. 'Folk cannot judge 
rightly where sisters are concerned: they' are too famihar 
with the magnet to judge of its powers of attraction. 
Everard will be here, as if drawn by cart-ropes; fetters, 
not to talk of promises, will not hold him; and then, 
methinks, we are in some danger.' 



*I hope not/ said Albert. 'In the first place, I know 
Markham is a slave to his word; besides, were any 
chance to bring him here, I think I could pass your Ma- 
jesty upon him without difficulty as Louis Kerneguy. 
Then, although my cousin and I have not been on good 
terms for these some years, I believe him incapable of 
betraying your Majesty; and lastly, if I saw the least 
danger of it, I would, were he ten times the son of my 
mother's sister, run my sword through his body ere he 
had time to execute his purpose.' 

'There is but another question,' said Charles, 'and I 
will release you, Albert. You seem to think yourself 
secure from search. It may be so; but, in any other 
country, this tale of goblins which is flying about would 
bring down priests and ministers of justice to examine 
the reality of the story, and mobs of idle people to sat- 
isfy their curiosity.' 

'Respecting the first, sir, we hope and understand 
that Colonel Everard's influence will prevent any im- 
mediate inquiry, for the sake of preserving undisturbed 
the peace of his uncle's family; and as for any one 
coming without some sort of authority, the whole 
neighbours have so much love and fear of my father, 
and are, besides, so horribly alarmed about the goblins 
of Woodstock, that fear will silence curiosity.' 

'On the whole, then,' said Charles, 'the chances of 
safety seem to be in favour of the plan we have adopted, 
which is all I can hope for in a condition where absolute 
safety is out of the question. The bishop recommended 
Dr. Rochecliffe as one of the most ingenious, boldest, 
and most loyal sons of the Church of England; you, 
Albert Lee, have marked your fidelity by a hundred 



proofs. To you and your local knowledge I submit my- 
self. And now, prepare our arms; alive I will not be 
taken, yet I will not believe that a son of the King of 
England, and heir of her throne, could be destined to 
danger in his own palace, and under the guard of the 
loyal Lees.' 

Albert Lee laid pistols and swords in readiness by the 
King's bed and his own; and Charles, after some slight 
apology, took his place in the larger and better bed, with 
a sigh of pleasure, as from one who had not lately enjoyed 
such an indulgence. He bid good-night to his faithful 
attendant, who deposited himself on his truckle; and 
both monarch and subject were soon fast alseep. 


Give Sir Nicholas Threlkeld praise; 
Hear it, good man, old in days, 
Thou tree of succour and of rest 
To this young bird that was distress'd; 
Beneath thy branches he did stay; 
And he was free to sport and play. 
When falcons were abroad for prey. 


The fugitive prince slept, in spite of danger, with the 
profound repose which youth and fatigue inspire. But 
the young Cavalier, his guide and guard, spent a more 
restless night, starting from time to time and listening; 
anxious, notwithstanding Dr. Rochecliffe's assurances, 
to procure yet more particular knowledge concerning 
the state of things around them than he had been yet 
able to collect. 

He rose early after daybreak; but although he moved 
with as little noise as was possible, the slumbers of the 
hunted prince were easily disturbed. He started up in 
his bed, and asked if there was any alarm. 

'None, please your Majesty,' replied Lee; 'only, 
thinking on the questions your Majesty was asking last 
night, and the various chances there are of your Maj- 
esty's safety being endangered from unforeseen acci- 
dents, I thought of going thus early, both to commun- 
icate with Dr. Rochecliffe and to keep such a look-out as 
befits the place where are lodged for the time the for- 
tunes of England. I fear I must request of your Majesty 
for your own gracious security, that you have the good- 



ness to condescend to secure the door with your own 
hand after I go out.' 

'Oh, talk not to Majesty, for Heaven's sake, dear 
Albert!' answered the poor King, endeavouring in vain 
to put on a part of his clothes in order to traverse the 
room. 'When a king's doublet and hose are so ragged 
that he can no more find his way into them than he could 
have travelled through the Forest of Deane without a 
guide, good faith, there should be an end of Majesty, 
until it chances to be better accommodated. Besides, 
there is the chance of these big words bolting out at 
unawares, when there are ears to hear them whom we 
might think dangerous.' 

'Your commands shall be obeyed,' said Lee, who had 
now succeeded in opening the door, from which he took 
his departure, leaving the King, who had hustled along 
the floor for that purpose, with his dress wofully ill ar- 
ranged, to make it fast again behind him, and begging 
him in no case to open to any one, unless he or Roche- 
cliffe were of the party who summoned him. 

Albert then set out in quest of Dr. Rochecliffe's apart- 
ment, which was only known to himself and the faithful 
Joliffe, and had at different times accommodated that 
steady churchman with a place of concealment, when, 
from his bold and busy temper, which led him into the 
most extensive and hazardous machinations on the 
King's behalf, he had been strictly sought after by the 
opposite party. Of late, the inquest after him had died 
entirely away, as he had prudently withdrawn himself 
from the scene of his intrigues. Since the loss of the bat- 
tle of Worcester, he had been afloat again, and more 
active than ever-^ and had, by friends and correspond- 



ents, and especially the Bishop of — '-, been the means 
of directing the King's flight towards Woodstock, al- 
though it was not until the very day of his arrival that 
he could promise him a safe reception at that ancient 

Albert Lee, though he revered both the undaunted 
spirit and ready resources of the bustling and intriguing 
churchman, felt he had not been enabled by him to an- 
swer some of Charles's questions yesternight in a way so 
distinct as one trusted with the King's safety ought to 
have done; and it was now his object to make himself 
personally acquainted, if possible, with the various 
bearings of so weighty a matter, as became a man on 
whom so much of the responsibility was likely to de- 

Even his local knowledge was scarce adequate to find 
the Doctor's secret apartment, had he not traced his way 
after a genial flavour of roasted game through divers 
blind passages, and up and down certain very useless 
stairs, through cupboards and hatchways, and so forth, 
to a species of sajictum sanctorum, where Joceline Jolifife 
was ministering to the good Doctor a solemn breakfast 
of wild-fowl, with a cup of small beer stirred with a sprig 
of rosemary, which Dr. Rochecliffe preferred to all 
strong potations. Beside him sat Bevis on his tail, slob- 
bering and looking amiable, moved by the rare smell of 
the breakfast, which had quite overcome his native dig- 
nity of disposition. 

The chamber in which the Doctor had established 
himself was a little octangular room, with walls of great 
thickness, within which wxre fabricated various issues, 
leading in different directions, and communicating with 



different parts of the building. Around him were pack- 
ages with arms, and near him one small barrel, as it 
seemed, of gunpowder; many papers in different parcels, 
and several keys for correspondence in cipher; two or 
three scrolls covered with hieroglyphics were also beside 
him,which Albert took for plans of nativity; and various 
models of machinery, in which Dr. Rochecliffe was an 
adept. There were also tools of various kinds, masks, 
cloaks, and a dark lantern, and a number of other inde- 
scribable trinkets belonging to the trade of a daring 
plotter in dangerous times. Last, there was a casket with 
gold and silver coin of different countries, which was left 
carelessly open, as if it were the least of Dr. Roche- 
cliffe's concern, although his habits in general announced 
narrow circumstances, if not actual poverty. Close by 
the divine's plate lay a Bible and Prayer Book, with 
some proof-sheets, as they are technically called, seem- 
ingly fresh from the press. There were also within the 
reach of his hand a dirk, or Scottish poniard, a powder- 
horn, and a musketoon, or blunderbuss, with a pair of 
handsome pocket-pistols. In the midst of this miscel- 
laneous collection, the Doctor sat eating his breakfast 
with great appetite, as little dismayed by the various 
implements of danger around him as a workman is 
when accustomed to the perils of a gunpowder manu- 

*Soh, young gentleman,' he said, getting up and ex- 
tending his hand, 'are you come to breakfast with me in 
good fellowship, or to spoil my meal this morning, as 
you did my supper last night, by asking untimely 
questions? ' 

'I will pick a bone with you with all my heart,' said 



Albert; 'and if you please, Doctor, I would ask some 
questions which seem not quite untimely.' 

So saying he sat down and assisted the Doctor in 
giving a very satisfactory account of a brace of wild 
ducks and a leash of teal. Bevis, who maintained his 
place with great patience and insinuation, had his share 
of a collop, which was also placed on the well-furnished 
board; for, like most high-bred dogs, he declined eating 

'Come hither, then, Albert Lee,' said the Doctor, lay- 
ing down his knife and fork, and plucking the towel from 
his throat, so soon as Joceline was withdrawn ; ' thou art 
still the same lad thou wert when I was thy tutor — 
never satisfied with having got a grammar rule, but 
always persecuting me with questions why the rule stood 
so, and not otherwise — over-curious after information 
which thou couldst not comprehend, as Bevis slobbered 
and whined for the duck-wing, which he could not 

'I hope you will find me more reasonable. Doctor,' an- 
swered Albert; 'and at the same time, that you will 
recollect I am not now sub ferula, but am placed in cir- 
cumstances where I am not at liberty to act upon the 
ipse dixit of any man, unless my own judgment be con- 
vinced. I shall deserve richly to be hanged, drawn, 
and quartered should any misfortune happen by my 
misgovernment in this business.' 

'And it is therefore, Albert, that I would have thee 
trust the whole to me, without interfering. Thou sayst, 
forsooth, thou art not sub ferula; but recollect that, while 
you have been fighting in the field, I have been plotting 
in the study; that I know all the combinations of the 



King's friends, ay, and all the motions of his enemies, as 
well as a spider knows every mesh of his web. Think of 
my experience, man. Not a Cavalier in the land but has 
heard of Rochecliffe the Plotter. I have been a main 
limb in everything that has been attempted since forty- 
two — penned declarations, conducted correspondence, 
communicated with chiefs, recruited followers, commis- 
sioned arms, levied money, appointed rendezvouses. I 
was in the Western Rising; and before that, in the City 
Petition, and in Sir John Owen's stir in Wales; in short, 
almost in every plot for the King, since Tomkins and 
Challoner's matter.' 

'But were not all these plots unsuccessful?' said 
Albert; 'and were not Tomkins and Challoner hanged, 

'Yes, my young friend,' answered the Doctor, gravely, 
*as many others have been with whom I have acted; but 
only because they did not follow my advice impUcitly. 
You never heard that I was hanged myself.' 

'The time may come. Doctor,' said Albert. 'The 
pitcher goes oft to the well — The proverb, as my father 
would say, is somewhat musty. But I, too, have some 
confidence in my own judgment; and, much as I honour 
the church, I cannot altogether subscribe to passive 
obedience. I will tell you in one word what points I must 
have explanation on; and it will remain with you to give 
it, or to return a message to the King that you will not 
explain your plan; in which case, if he acts by my ad- 
vice, he will leave Woodstock, and resume his purpose 
of getting to the coast without delay.' 

'Well, then,' said the Doctor, 'thou suspicious mon- 
ster, make thy demands, and, if they be such as I can 



answer without betraying confidence, I will reply to 

'In the first place, then, what is all this story about 
ghosts, and witchcrafts, and apparitions; and do you 
consider it as safe for his Majesty to stay in a house 
subject to such visitations, real or pretended?' 

'You must be satisfied with my answer in verho sa- 
cerdotis: the circumstances you allude to will not give 
the least annoyance to Woodstock during the King's 
residence. I cannot explain further; but for this I will be 
bound, at the risk of my neck.' 

'Then,' said Lee, 'we must take Dr. Rochecliffe's bail 
that the De\'il wall keep the peace towards our Sovereign 
Lord the King — good. Now there lurked about this 
house the greater part of yesterday, and perhaps slept 
here, a fellow called Tomkins — a bitter Independent, 
and a secretary, or clerk, or something or other, to the 
regicide dog Desborough. The man is well known — a 
wild ranter in religious opinions, but in private affairs 
far-sighted, cunning, and interested even as any rogue 
of them all.' 

'Be assured we will avail ourselves of his crazy fanati- 
cism to mislead his wicked cunning : a child may lead a 
hog if it has wit to fasten a cord to the ring in its nose,' 
replied the Doctor. 

' You may be deceived,' said Albert ; ' the age has many 
such as this fellow, whose views of the spiritual and tem- 
poral world are so different, that they resemble the eyes 
of a squinting man — one of which, oblique and distorted, 
sees nothing but the end of his nose, while the other, 
instead of partaking the sam.e defect, views strongly, 
sharply, and acutelywhateveris subjected to its scrutiny/ 



*But we will put a patch on the better eye/ said the 
Doctor, 'and he shall only be allowed to speculate with 
the imperfect optic. You must know, this fellow has 
always seen the greatest number and the most hideous 
apparitions; he has not the courage of a cat in such mat- 
ters, though stout enough when he hath temporal antag- 
onists before him. I have placed him under the charge of 
Joceline Joliffe, who, betwixt plying him with sack and 
ghost-stories, would make him incapable of knowing 
what was done, if you were to proclaim the King in his 

'But why keep such a fellow here at all?' 

*0h, sir, content you; he lies leaguer, as a sort of 
ambassador for his worthy masters, and we are secure 
from any intrusion so long as they get all the news of 
Woodstock from Trusty Tomkins.' 

*I know Joceline's honesty well,' said Albert; 'and if 
he can assure me that he will keep a watch over this fel- 
low, I will so far trust in him. He does not know the 
depth of the stake, 't is true, but that my life is con- 
cerned will be quite enough to keep him vigilant. Well, 
then, I proceed. What if Markham Everard comes 
down on us? ' 

'We have his word to the contrary,' answered Roche- 
cliff e — ' his word of honour transmitted by his friend. 
Do you think it likely he will break it? ' 

'I hold him incapable of doing so,' answered Albert; 
'and, besides, I think Markham would make no bad use 
of anything which might come to his knowledge. Yet 
God forbid we should be under the necessity of trusting 
any who ever wore the ParKament's colours in a matter 
of such dear concernment!' 



*Amen!' said the Doctor. 'Are your doubts silenced 

*I still have an objection/ said Albert, 'to yonder 
impudent rakehelly fellow, styling himself a Cavalier, 
who pushed himself on our company last night, and 
gained my father's heart by a story of the storm of 
Brentford, which I dare say the rogue never saw.' 

*You mistake him, dear Albert,' replied Rochecliffe: 
'Roger Wildrake, although till of late I only knew him 
by name, is a gentleman, was bred at the Inns of Court, 
and spent his estate in the King's service.' 

'Or rather in the devil's service,' said Albert. 'It is 
such fellows as he, who, sunk from the license of their 
mihtary habits into idle bebauched ruffians, infest the 
land with riots and robberies, brawl in hedge alehouses 
and cellars where strong waters are sold at midnight, 
and, with their deep oaths, their hot loyalty, and their 
drunken valour, make decent men abominate the very 
name of Cavaher.' 

'Alas!' said the Doctor, 'it is but too true; but what 
can you expect? When the higher and more quahfied 
classes are broken down and mingled undistinguishably 
with the lower orders, they are apt to lose the most valu- 
able marks of their quality in the general confusion of 
morals and manners, just as a handful of silver medals 
will become defaced and discoloured if jumbled about 
among the vulgar copper coin. Even the prime medal of 
all, which we Royalists would so willingly wear next 
our very hearts, has not, perhaps, entirely escaped some 
deterioration. But let other tongues than mine speak on 
that subject.' 

Albert Lee paused deeply after having heard these 



communications on the part of Rochecliffe. 'Doctor/ he 
said, 'it is generally agreed, even by some who think 
you may occasionally have been a Httle over-busy in 
putting men upon dangerous actions — ' 

'May God forgive them who entertain so false an 
opinion of me ! ' said the Doctor. 

— 'That, nevertheless, you have done and suffered 
more in the King's behalf than any man of your func- 

'They do me but justice there,' said Dr. RochecHffe — 
'absolute justice.' 

' I am therefore disposed to abide by your opinion, if, 
all things considered, you think it safe that we should 
remain at Woodstock.' 

'That is not the question,' answered the divine. 

'And what is the question, then?' replied the young 

'Whether any safer course can be pointed out. I 
grieve to say that the question must be comparative as 
to the point of option. Absolute safety is — alas the 
while! — out of the question on all sides. Now, I say 
Woodstock is, fenced and guarded as at present, by far 
the most preferable place of concealment.' 

'Enough,' replied Albert, 'I give up to you the ques- 
tion, as to a person whose knowledge of such important 
ajffairs, not to mention your age and experience, is more 
intimate and extensive than mine can be.' 

'You do well,' answered RochecHffe; 'and if others 
had acted with the Hke distrust of their own knowledge, 
and confidence in competent persons, it had been better 
for the age. This makes understanding bar himself up 
within his fortaHce, and wit betake himself to his high 



tower. (Here he looked around his cell with an air of 
self-complacence.) The wise man foreseeth the tempest, 
and hideth himself.' 

'Doctor,' said Albert, 'let our foresight serve others 
far more precious than either of us. Let me ask you, if 
you have well considered whether our precious charge 
should remain in society with the family, or betake him- 
self to some of the more hidden corners of the house?' 

' Hum ! ' said the Doctor, with an air of deep reflection, 
'I think he will be safest as Louis Kerneguy, keeping 
himself close beside you — ' 

'I fear it will be necessary,' added Albert, 'that I 
scout abroad a Httle, and show myself in some distant 
part of the country, lest, coming here in quest of me, they 
should find higher game.' 

'Pray do not interrupt me. Keeping himself close 
beside you or your father, in or near to Victor Lee's 
apartment, from which, you are aware, he can make a 
ready escape, should danger approach. This occurs to 
me as best for the present; I hope to hear of the vessel 
to-day — to-morrow at farthest.' 

Albert Lee bid the active but opinionated man good- 
morrow; admiring how this species of intrigue had be- 
come a sort of element in which the Doctor seemed to 
enjoy himself, notwithstanding all that the poet has said 
concerning the horrors which intervene betwixt the con- 
ception and execution of a conspiracy. 

In returning from Dr. Rochecliffe's sanctuary, he met 
with JoceHne, who was anxiously seeking him. 'The 
young Scotch gentleman,' he said, in a mysterious man- 
ner, 'has arisen from bed, and, hearing me pass, he 
called me into his apartment.' 



'Well,' replied Albert, 'I will see him presently.' 

'And he asked me for fresh linen and clothes. Now, 
sir, he is like a man who is quite accustomed to be 
obeyed, so I gave him a suit which happened to be in a 
wardrobe in the west tower, and some of your linen to 
conform; and when he was dressed, he commanded me 
to show him to the presence of Sir Henry Lee and my 
young lady. I would have said something, sir, about 
waiting till you came back, but he pulled me good- 
naturedly by the hair — as, indeed, he has a rare hu- 
mour of his own — and told me, he was guest to Master 
Albert Lee, and not his prisoner; so, sir, though I thought 
you might be displeased with me for giving him the 
means of stirring abroad, and perhaps being seen by 
those who should not see him, what could I say? ' 

'You are a sensible fellow, Joceline, and comprehend 
always what is recommended to you. This youth will 
not be controlled, I fear, by either of us; but we must 
look the closer after his safety. You keep your watch 
over that prjang fellow the steward?' 

' Trust him to my care : on that side have no fear. But, 
ah, sir! I would we had the young Scot in his old clothes 
again, for the riding-suit of yours which he now wears 
hath set him off in other-guess fashion.' 

From the manner in which the faithful dependant ex- 
pressed himself, Albert saw that he suspected who the 
Scottish page in reality was; yet he did not think it 
proper to acknowledge to him a fact of such importance, 
secure as he was equally of his fidelity whether explicitly 
trusted to the full extent or left to his own conjectures. 
Full of anxious thought, he went to the apartment of 
Victor Lee, in which Joliffe told him he would find the 



party assembled. The sound of laughter, as he laid his 
hand on the lock of the door, almost made him start, so 
singularly did it jar with the doubtful and melancholy 
reflections which engaged his own mind. He entered, 
and found his father in high good-humour, laughing 
and conversing freely with his young charge, whose ap- 
pearance was, indeed, so much changed to the better in 
externals, that it seemed scarce possible a night's rest, a 
toilet, and a suit of decent clothes could have done 
so much in his favour in so short a time. It could not, 
however, be imputed to the mere alteration of dress, 
although that, no doubt, had its effect. There was no- 
thing splendid in that which Louis Kemeguy (we con- 
tinue to call him by his assumed name) now wore. It 
was merely a riding-suit of grey cloth, with some silver 
lace, in the fashion of a country gentleman of the time. 
But it happened to fit him very well, and to become his 
very dark complexion, especially as he now held up his 
head, and used the manners, not only of a well-behaved, 
but of a highly accomplished, gentleman. When he 
moved, his clumsy and awkward limp was exchanged 
for a sort of shuffle, which, as it might be the consequence 
of a wound in those perilous times, had rather an inter- 
esting than an ungainly effect. At least it was as genteel 
an expression that the party had been over-hard trav- 
elled as the most polite pedestrian could propose to 

The features of the wanderer were harsh as ever, but 
his red shock peruke, for such it proved, was laid aside, 
his sable elf-locks were trained, by a little of Joceline's 
assistance, into curls, and his fine black eyes shone from 
among the shade of these curls, and corresponded with 
88 8i 


the animated, though not handsome, character of the 
whole head. In his conversation, he had laid aside all 
the coarseness of dialect which he had so strongly af- 
fected on the preceding evening; and although he con- 
tinued to speak a little Scotch, for the support of his 
character as a young gentleman of that nation, yet it 
was not in a degree which rendered his speech either 
uncouth or unintelligible, but merely afforded a certain 
Doric tinge essential to the personage he represented. 
No person on earth could better understand the society 
in which he moved ; exile had made him acquainted with 
life in all its shades and varieties; his spirits, if not uni- 
form, were elastic; he had that species of epicurean phil- 
osophy which, even in the most extreme difhculties and 
dangers, can in an interval of ease, however brief, avail 
itself of the enjoyments of the moment; he was, in 
short, in youth and misfortune, as afterwards in his 
regal condition, a good-humoured but hard-hearted 
voluptuary — wise, save where his passions intervened; 
beneficent, save when prodigality had deprived him of 
the means, or prejudice of the wish, to confer benefits; 
his faults such as might often have drawn down hatred, 
but that they were mingled with so much urbanity that 
the injured person felt it impossible to retain the full 
sense of his wrongs. 

Albert Lee found the party, consisting of his father, 
sister, and the supposed page, seated by the breakfast- 
table, at which he also took his place. He was a pensive 
and anxious beholder of what passed, while the page, 
who had already completely gained the heart of the 
good old Cavalier by mimicking the manner in which 
the Scottish divines preached in favour of 'Ma gude 



Lord Marquis of Argyle and the Solemn League and 
Covenant,' was now endeavouring to interest the fair 
Alice by such anecdotes, partly of warlike and perilous 
adventure, as possessed the same degree of interest for 
the female ear which they have had ever since Desde- 
mona's days. But it was not only of dangers by land 
and sea that the disguised page spoke; but much more, 
and much oftener, on foreign revels, banquets, balls, 
where the pride of France, of Spain, or of the Low Coun- 
tries was exhibited in the eyes of their most eminent 
beauties. Alice being a very young girl, who, in con- 
sequence of the Civil War, had been almost entirely 
educated in the country, and often in great seclusion, it 
was certainly no wonder that she should listen with 
willing ears and a ready smile to what the young gentle- 
man, their guest, and her brother's protege, told with so 
much gaiety, and mingled with such a shade of danger- 
ous adventure, and occasionally of serious reflection, as 
prevented the discourse from being regarded as merely 
light and frivolous. 

In a word, Sir Henry Lee laughed, Alice smiled from 
time to time, and all were satisfied but Albert, who 
would himself, however, have been scarce able to allege 
a sufficient reason for his depression of spirits. 

The materials of breakfast were at last removed, imder 
the active superintendence of the neat-handed Phoebe, 
who looked over her shoulder, and lingered more than 
once, to listen to the fluent discourse of their new guest, 
whom, on the preceding evening, she had, while in at- 
tendance at supper, accounted one of the most stupid 
inmates to whom the gates of Woodstock had been 
opened since the times of Fair Rosamond. 



Louis Kerneguy, then, when they were left only four 
in the chamber, without the interruption of domestics, 
and the successive bustle occasioned by the discussion 
and removal of the morning meal, became apparently 
sensible that his friend and ostensible patron Albert 
ought not altogether to be suffered to drop to leeward 
in the conversation, while he was himself successfully 
engaging the attention of those members of his family 
to whom he had become so recently known. He went 
behind his chair, therefore, and, leaning on the back, 
said with a good-humoured tone, which made his pur- 
pose entirely intelligible : — 

'Either my good friend, guide, and patron has heard 
worse news this morning than he cares to tell us, or he 
must have stumbled over my tattered jerkin and leath- 
ern hose, and acquired, by contact, the whole mass of 
stupidity which I threw off last night with those most 
dolorous garments. Cheer up, my dear Colonel Albert, 
if your affectionate page may presume to say so: you 
are in company with those whose society, dear to stran- 
gers, must be doubly so to you. Odds-fish, man, cheer 
up ! I have seen you gay on a biscuit and a mouthful of 
water-cresses; don't let your heart fail you on Rhenish 
wine and venison.' 

'Dear Louis,' said Albert, rousing himself into exer- 
tion, and somewhat ashamed of his own silence, ' I have 
slept worse, and been astir earlier than you.' 

'Be it so,' said his father; 'yet I hold it no good ex- 
cuse for your sullen silence. Albert, you have met your 
sister and me, so long separated from you, so anxious on 
your behalf, almost like mere strangers, and yet you are 
returned safe to us, and you find us well.' 



* Returned indeed — but for safety, my dear father, 
that word must be a stranger to us Worcester folk for 
some time. However, it is not my own safety about 
which I am anxious.' 

'About whose, then, should you be anxious? All ac- 
counts agree that the King is safe out of the dogs' jaws.' 

*Not without some danger, though,' muttered Louis, 
thinking of his encounter with Bevis on the preceding 

'No, not without danger, indeed,' echoed the knight; 

'but, as old Will says — 

There 's such divinity doth hedge a king, 
That treason dares not peep at what it would. 

No — no, thank God, that's cared for: our hope and for- 
tune is escaped, so all news afBrm — escaped from Bris- 
tol; if I thought otherwise, Albert, I should be as sad as 
you are. For the rest of it, I have lurked a month in 
this house when discovery would have been death, and 
that is no longer since than after Lord Holland and the 
Duke of Buckingham's rising at Kingston; and hang 
me, if I thought once of twisting my brow into such a 
tragic fold as yours, but cocked my hat at misfortune 
as a Cavalier should.' 

*If I might put in a word,' said Louis, *it would be to 
assure Colonel Albert Lee that I verily believe the King 
would thinlc his own hap, wherever he may be, much the 
worse that his best subjects were seized with dejection 
on his account.' 

'You answer boldly on the King's part, young man,' 
said Sir Henry. 

*0h, my father was meikle about the King's hand,' 
answered Louis, recollecting his present character. 



*No wonder, then/ said Sir Henry, 'that you have so 
soon recovered your good spirits and good breeding, 
when you heard of his Majesty's escape. Why, you are 
no more like the lad we saw last night than the best 
hunter I ever had was Kke a dray-horse.' 

'Oh, there is much in rest, and food, and grooming,' 
answered Louis. ' You would hardly know the tired jade 
you dismounted from last night, when she is brought out 
prancing and neighing the next morning, rested, re- 
freshed, and ready to start again, especially if the brute 
hath some good blood, for such pick up unco fast.' 

'Well, then, but since thy father was a courtier, and 
thou hast learned, I think, something of the trade, tell 
us a little. Master Kerneguy, about him we love most to 
hear about — the King; we are all safe and secret, you 
need not be afraid. He was a hopeful youth; I trust his 
flourishing blossom now gives promise of fruit? ' 

As the knight spoke, Louis bent his eyes on the 
ground, and seemed at first uncertain what to answer. 
But, admirable at extricating himself from such dilem- 
mas, he replied, 'That he really could not presume to 
speak on such a subject in the presence of his patron, 
Colonel Albert Lee, who must be a much better judge 
of the character of King Charles than he could pretend 
to be.' 

Albert was accordingly next assailed by the knight, 
seconded by Alice, for some account of his Majesty's 

'I will speak but according to facts,' said Albert; 'and 
then I must be acquitted of partiality. If the King had 
not possessed enterprise and military skill, he never 
would have attempted the expedition to Worcester; had 



he not had personal courage, he had not so long disputed 
the battle that Cromwell almost judged it lost. That he 
possesses prudence and patience must be argued from 
the circumstances attending his flight; and that he has 
the love of his subjects is evident, since, necessarily 
known to many, he has been betrayed by none.' 

'For shame, Albert! ' replied his sister; *is that the way 
a good Cavalier doles out the character of his prince, 
applying an instance at every concession, Uke a pedlar 
measuring linen with his rod? Out upon you ! no wonder 
you were beaten, if you fought as coldly for your King 
as you now talk for him.' 

*I did my best to trace a hkeness from what I have 
seen and known of the original, sister Alice,' replied her 
brother. ' If you would have a fancy portrait, you must 
get an artist of more imagination than I have to draw 
it for you.' 

*I will be that artist myself,' said Alice, 'and, in my 
portrait, our monarch shall show all that he ought to be, 
having such high pretensions; all that he must be, being 
so loftily descended; all that I am sure he is, and that 
every loyal heart in the kingdom ought to believe 

'Well said, Alice,' quoth the old knight. 'Look thou 
upon this picture, and on this ! Here is our young friend 
shall judge. I wager my best nag — that is, I would 
wager him had I one left — that Alice proves the better 
painter of the two. My son's brain is still misty, I think, 
since his defeat : he has not got the smoke of Worcester 
out of it. Plague on thee! a young man, and cast down 
for one beating! Had you been banged twenty times 
like me, it had been time to look grave. But come, Alice, 



forward; the colours are mixed on your pallet — for- 
ward with something that shall show like one of Van- 
dyck's living portraits, placed beside the dull dry pre- 
sentation there of our ancestor Victor Lee.' 

Alice, it must be observed, had been educated by her 
father in the notions of high, and even exaggerated, loy- 
alty which characterised the Cavaliers, and she was 
really an enthusiast in the Royal cause. But besides, 
she was in good spirits at her brother's happy return, 
and wished to prolong the gay humour in which her 
father had of late scarcely ever indulged. 

'Well, then,' she said, ' though I am no Apelles, I will 
try to paint an Alexander, such as I hope, and am de- 
termined to believe, exists in the person of our exiled 
sovereign, soon I trust to be restored. And I will not go 
farther than his own family. He shall have all the chiv- 
alrous courage, all the warlike skill, of Henry of France, 
his grandfather, in order to place him on the throne; all 
his benevolence, love of his people, patience even of un- 
pleasing advice, sacrifice of his own wishes and pleasures 
to the commonweal, that, seated there, he may be blest 
while living, and so long remembered when dead, that 
for ages after it shall be thought sacrilege to breathe an 
aspersion against the throne which he has occupied. 
Long after he is dead, while there remains an old man 
who has seen him, were the condition of that survivor 
no higher than a groom or a menial, his age shall be 
provided for at the public charge, and his grey hairs 
regarded with more distinction than an earl's coronet, 
because he remembers the second Charles, the monarch 
of every heart in England.' 

While Alice spoke, she was hardly conscious of the 



presence of any one save her father and brother; for the 
page withdrew himself somewhat from the circle, and 
there was nothing to remind her of him. She gave the 
reins, therefore, to her enthusiasm, and as the tears glit- 
tered in her eye, and her beautiful features became ani- 
mated, she seemed Hke a descended cherub proclaiming 
the virtues of a patriot monarch. The person chiefly in- 
terested in her description held himself back, as we have 
said, and concealed his own features, yet so as to pre- 
serve a full view of the beautiful speaker. 

Albert Lee, conscious in whose presence this eulogium 
was pronounced, was much embarrassed; but his father, 
all whose feelings were flattered by the panegyric, was 
in rapture. 

'So much for the kijtg, Alice,' he said; 'and now for 
the man.' 

'For the man,' replied Alice in the same tone, 'need I 
wish him more than the paternal virtues of his unhappy 
father, of whom his worst enemies have recorded, that, 
if moral virtues and religious faith were to be selected 
as the qualities which merited a crown, no man could 
plead the possession of them in a higher or more indis- 
putable degree. Temperate, wise, and frugal, yet muni- 
ficent in rewarding merit — a friend to letters and the 
muses, but a severe discourager of the misuse of such 
gifts — a worthy gentleman — a kind master — the 
best friend, the best father, the best Christian — ' Her 
voice began to falter, and her father's handkerchief was 
already to his eyes. 

'He was, girl — he was!' exclaimed Sir Henry; 'but 
no more on't, I charge ye — no more on't — enough; let 
his son but possess his virtues, with better advisers, and 



better fortunes, and he will be all that England, in her 
warmest wishes, could desire,' 

There was a pause after this; for Alice felt as if she had 
spoken too frankly and too zealously for her sex and 
youth; Sir Henry was occupied in melancholy recollec- 
tions on the fate of his late sovereign; while Kerneguy 
and his supposed patron felt embarrassed, perhaps from 
a consciousness that the real Charles fell far short of his 
ideal character, as designed in such glowing colours. In 
some cases, exaggerated or unappropriate praise becomes 
the most severe satire. 

But such reflections were not of a nature to be long 
willingly cherished by the person to whom they might 
have been of great advantage. He assumed a tone of 
raillery, which is, perhaps, the readiest mode of escaping 
from the feelings of self-reproof. 'Every Cavalier,' he 
said, 'should bend his knee to thank Mistress Alice Lee 
for having made such a flattering portrait of the King 
their master, by laying under contribution for his benefit 
the virtues of all his ancestors ; only there was one point 
he would not have expected a female painter to have 
passed over in silence. When she made him, in right of 
his grandfather and father, a muster of royal and indi- 
vidual excellences, why could she not have endowed him 
at the same time with his mother's personal charms? 
Why should not the son of Henrietta Maria, the finest 
woman of her day, add the recommendations of a hand- 
some face and figure to his internal qualities? He had 
the same hereditary title to good looks as to mental 
qualifications; and the picture, with such an addition, 
would be perfect in its way, and God send it might be a 



'I understand you, Master Kemeguy,' said Alice, 
*but I am no fairy, to bestow, as those do in the nursery 
tales, gifts which Providence has denied. I am woman 
enough to have made inquiries on the subject, and I 
know the general report is that the King, to have been 
the son of such handsome parents, is unusually hard- 

'Good God, sister!' said Albert, starting impatiently 
from his seat. 

'Why, you yourself told me so,' said Alice, surprised 
at the emotion he testified; 'and you said — ' 

'This is intolerable,' muttered Albert; 'I must out to 
speak with Joceline without delay. Louis (with an im- 
ploring look to Kerneguy), you will surely come with 

*I would with all my heart,' said Kerneguy, smiling 
maliciously ; ' but you see how I suffer still from lameness. 
Nay — nay, Albert,' he whispered, resisting young Lee's 
attempt to prevail on him to leave the room, 'can you 
suppose I am fool enough to be hurt by this? On the 
contrary, I have a desire of profiting by it.' 
f ' May God grant it ! ' said Lee to himself, as he left the 
room, 'it will be the first lecture you ever profited by; 
and the Devil confound the plots and plotters who made 
me bring you to this place!' So saying, he carried his 
discontent forth into the park. 


For there, they say, he daily doth frequent, 
With unrestrained loose companions; . . . 
Which he, young wanton and effeminate boy, 
Takes on the point of honour to support 
So dissolute a crew. 

Richard II. 

The conversation which Albert had in vain endeavoured 
to interrupt flowed on in the same course after he had 
left the room. It entertained Louis Kerneguy; for per- 
sonal vanity, or an over-sensitiveness to deserved re- 
proof, were not among the faults of his character, and 
were indeed incompatible with an understanding which, 
combined with more strength of principle, steadiness, of 
exertion, and self-denial, might have placed Charles 
high on the list of English monarchs. On the other hand, 
Sir Henry Ustened with natural delight to the noble 
sentiments uttered by a being so beloved as his daugh- 
ter. His own parts were rather steady than brilliant; 
and he had that species of imagination which is not easily 
excited without the action of another, as the electrical 
globe only scintillates when rubbed against its cushion. 
He was well pleased, therefore, when Kerneguy pursued 
the conversation, by observing that Mistress Alice Lee 
had not explained how the same good fairy that con- 
ferred moral qualities could not also remove corporeal 

'You mistake, sir,' said Alice, *I confer nothing. I do 
but attempt to paint our King such as I hope he is, such 
as I am sure he may be, should he himself desire to be so. 



The same general report, which speaks of his counten- 
ance as unprepossessing, describes his talents as being of 
the first order. He has, therefore, the means of arriving 
at excellence, should he cultivate them sedulously and 
employ them usefully — should he rule his passions and 
be guided by his understanding. Every good man can- 
not be wise ; but it is in the power of every wise man, if 
he pleases, to be as eminent for virtue as for talent. 

Young Kerneguy rose briskly and took a turn through 
the room ; and ere the knight could make any observa- 
tion on the singular vivacity in which he had indulged, 
he threw himself again into his chair, and said, in rather 
an altered tone of voice — * It seems, then. Mistress Alice 
Lee, that the good friends who have described this poor 
king to you have been as unfavourable in their account 
of his morals as of his person?' 

'The truth must be better known to you, sir,' said 
Alice, 'than it can be to me. Some rumours there have 
been which accuse him of a license which, whatever al- 
lowance flatterers make for it, does not, to say the least, 
become the son of the Martyr; I shall be happy to have 
these contradicted on good authority.' 

*I am surprised at your folly,' said Sir Henry Lee, 'in 
hinting at such things, Alice: a pack of scandal, invented 
by the rascals who have usurped the government — a 
thing devised by the enemy.' 

'Nay, sir,' said Kerneguy, laughing, 'we must not let 
our zeal charge the enemy with more scandal than they 
actually deserve. Mistress Alice has put the question 
to me. I can only answer, that no one can be more 
devotedly attached to the King than I myself; that I am 
very partial to his merits and blind to his defects; and 



that, in short, I would be the last man in the world to 
give up his cause where it was tenable. Nevertheless, I 
must confess that, if all his grandfather of Navarre's 
morals have not descended to him, this poor king has 
somehow inherited a share of the specks that were 
thought to dim the lustre of that great prince — that 
Charles is a little soft-hearted or so, where beauty is con- 
cerned. Do not blame him too severely, pretty Mistress 
Alice; when a man's hard fate has driven him among 
thorns, it were surely hard to prevent him from trifling 
with the few roses he may find among them?' 

Ahce, who probably thought the conversation had 
gone far enough, rose while Master Kerneguy was 
speaking, and was leaving the room before he had fin- 
ished, without apparently hearing the interrogation with 
which he concluded. Her father approved of her de- 
parture, not thinking the turn which Kerneguy had 
given to the discourse altogether fit for her presence; 
and, desirous civilly to break off the conversation — 'I 
see,' he said, 'this is about the time when, as Will says, 
the household affairs will call my daughter hence; I will 
therefore challenge you, young gentleman, to stretch 
your limbs in a httle exercise with me, either at single 
rapier, or rapier and poniard, backsword, spadroon, or 
your national weapons of broadsword and target; for all 
or any of which I think we shall find implements in the 

' It would be too high a distinction,' Master Kerneguy 
said, 'for a poor page to be permitted to try a passage of 
arms with a knight so renowned as Sir Henry Lee, and 
he hoped to enjoy so great an honour before he left 
Woodstock, but at the present moment his lameness 



continued to give him so much pain, that he should 
shame himself in the attempt.' 

Sir Henry then offered to read him a play of Shake- 
speare, and for this purpose turned up 'King Richard 
II.' But hardly had he commenced with 

Old John of Gaunt, time-honoured Lancaster, 

when the young gentleman was seized with such an in- 
controllable fit of the cramp as could only be relieved by 
immediate exercise. He therefore begged permission to 
be allowed to saunter abroad for a little while, if Sir 
Henry Lee considered he might venture without danger. 

* I can answer for the two or three of our people that 
are still left about the place,' said Sir Henry; 'and I 
know my son has disposed them so as to be constantly 
on the watch. If you hear the bell toll at the lodge, I 
advise you to come straight home by the way of the 
King's Oak, which you see in yonder glade towering 
above the rest of the trees. We will have some one sta- 
tioned there to introduce you secretly into the house.' 
The page listened to these cautions with the impatience 
of a schoolboy, who, desirous of enjoying his holiday, 
hears without marking the advice of tutor or parent 
about taking care not to catch cold and so forth. 

The absence of Alice Lee had removed all which had 
rendered the interior of the lodge agreeable, and the 
mercurial young page fled with precipitation from the 
exercise and amusement which Sir Henry had proposed. 
He girded on his rapier, and threw his cloak, or rather 
that which belonged to his borrowed suit, about him, 
bringing up the lower part so as to muffle the face and 
show only the eyes over it, which was a common way of 



wearing them in those days, both in streets, in the coun- 
try, and in public places, when men had a mind to be 
private, and to avoid interruption from salutations and 
greetings in the market-place. He hurried across the 
open space which divided the front of the lodge from the 
wood, with the haste of a bird escaped from the cage, 
which, though joyful at its liberation, is at the same time 
sensible of its need of protection and shelter. The wood 
seemed to afford these to the human fugitive, as it might 
have done to the bird in question. 

When under the shadow of the branches, and within 
the verge of the forest, covered from observation, yet 
with the power of surveying the front of the lodge and 
all the open ground before it, the supposed Louis Kerne- 
guy meditated on his escape. 

'What an infliction — to fence with a gouty old man, 
who knows not, I dare say, a trick of the sword which 
was not familiar in the days of old Vincent Saviolo ! Or, 
as a change of misery, to hear him read one of those wil- 
dernesses of scenes which the English call a play, from 
prologue to epilogue — from Enter the first to the final 
Exeunt omnes — an unparalleled horror — a penance 
which would have made a dungeon darker, and added 
dulness even to Woodstock ! ' 

Here he stopped and looked around, then continued 
his meditations — ' So, then, it was here that the gay old 
Norman secluded his pretty mistress. I warrant, with- 
out having seen her, that Rosamond Clifford was never 
half so handsome as that lovely Alice Lee. And what a 
soul there is in the girl's eye! with what abandonment of 
all respects, save that expressing the interest of the mo- 
ment, she poured forth her tide of enthusiasm ! Were I 



to be long here, in spite of prudence and half a dozen 
very venerable obstacles beside, I should be tempted to 
try to reconcile her to the indifferent visage of this same 
hard-favoured prmce. Hard-favoured! it is a kind of 
treason for one who pretends to so much loyalty to say 
so of the King's features, and in my mind deserves pun- 
ishment. Ah, pretty Mistress AHce! many a Mistress 
Alice before you has made dreadful exclamations on the 
irregularities of mankind and the wickedness of the age, 
and ended by being glad to look out for apologies for 
their own share in them. But then her father — the 
stout old Cavaher — my father's old friend — should 
such a thing befall, it would break his heart. Break a 
pudding's end — he has more sense. If I give his grand- 
son a title to quarter the arms of England, what matter 
if a bar sinister is dra\vn across them? Pshaw! far from 
an abatement, it is a point of addition: the heralds in 
their next visitation will place him higher in the roll for 
it. Then, if he did wince a little at first, does not the old 
traitor deserve it — first, for his disloyal intention of 
punching mine anointed body black and blue with his 
vile foils; and secondly, his atrocious complot with Will 
Shakespeare, a fellow as much out of date as himself, to 
read me to death with five acts of a historical play, or 
chronicle, "being the piteous Life and Death of Richard 
the Second"? Odds-fish, my own Hfe is piteous enough, 
as I think ; and my death may match it, for aught I see 
coming yet. Ah, but then the brother — my friend, my 
guide, my guard! So far as this little proposed intrigue 
concerns him, such practising would be thought not quite 
fair. But your bouncing, swaggering, revengeful bro- 
thers exist only on the theatre. Your dire revenge, with 
38 97 


which a brother persecuted a poor fellow who had se- 
duced his sister, or been seduced by her, as the case 
might be, as relentlessly as if he had trodden on his 
toes without making an apology, is entirely out of fash- 
ion, since Dorset killed the Lord Bruce many a long 
year since. ^ Pshaw! when a king is the offender, the 
bravest man sacrifices nothing by pocketing a little 
wrong which he cannot personally resent. And in France 
there is not a noble house where each individual would 
not cock his hat an inch higher if they could boast of 
such a left-handed alliance with the Grand Monarque.' 
Such were the thoughts which rushed through the 
mind of Charles at his first quitting the lodge of Wood- 
stock and plunging into the forest that surrounded it. 
His profligate logic, however, was not the result of his 
natural disposition, nor received without scruple by his 
sound understanding. It was a train of reasoning which 
he had been led to adopt from his too close intimacy with 
the witty and profligate youth of quality by whom he 
had been surrounded. It arose from the evil communi- 
cation with Villiers, Wilmot, Sedley, and others, whose 
genius was destined to corrupt that age, and the mon- 
arch on whom its character afterwards came so much to 
depend. Such men, bred amidst the license of civil war, 
and without experiencing that curb which in ordinary 
times the authority of parents and relations imposes 
upon the headlong passions of youth, were practised in 
every species of vice, and could recommend it as well by 
precept as by example, turning into pitiless ridicule all 
those nobler feelings which withhold men from gratify- 

^ This melancholy story may be found in The Guardian. An intrigue 
of Lord Sackville, afterwards Earl of Dorset, was the cause of the fatal 



ing lawless passion. The events of the King's life had 
also favoured his reception of this epicurean doctrine. 
He saw himself, vnth. the highest claims to sympathy 
and assistance, coldly treated by the courts which he 
visited, rather as a permitted suppliant than an exiled 
monarch. He beheld his own rights and claims treated 
with scorn and indifference; and, in the same proportion, 
he was reconciled to the hardhearted and selfish course 
of dissipation which promised him immediate indulg- 
ence. If this was obtained at the expense of the happi- 
ness of others, should he of all men be scrupulous upon 
the subject, since he treated others only as the world 
treated him? 

But although the foundations of this unhappy system 
had been laid, the prince was not at this early period so 
fully devoted to it as he was found to have become when 
a door was unexpectedly opened for his restoration. On 
the contrary, though the train of gay reasoning which 
we have above stated, as if it had found vent in uttered 
language, did certainly arise in his mind, as that which 
would have been suggested by his favourite counsellors 
on such occasions, he recollected that what might be 
passed over as a peccadillo in France or the Netherlands, 
or turned into a diverting novel or pasquinade by the 
wits of his own wandering court, was likely to have the 
aspect of horrid ingratitude and infamous treachery 
among the English gentry, and would inflict a deep, 
perhaps an incurable, wound upon his interest among 
the more aged and respectable part of his adherents. 
Then it occurred to him — for his own interest did not 
escape him, even in this mode of considering the subject 
— that he was in the power of the Lees, father and son, 



who were always understood to be at least sujfficiently 
punctilious on the score of honour; and if they should 
suspect such an affront as his imagination had conceived, 
they could be at no loss to find means of the most ample 
revenge, either by their own hands or by those of the 
ruling faction. 

* The risk of reopening the fatal window at Whitehall 
and renewing the tragedy of the man in the mask were a 
worse penalty,' was his final reflection, 'than the old 
stool of the Scottish penance; and pretty though Alice 
Lee is, I cannot afford to intrigue at such a hazard. So, 
farewell, pretty maiden! unless, as sometimes has hap- 
pened, thou hast a humour to throw thyself at thy King's 
feet, and then I am too magnanimous to refuse thee my 
protection. Yet, when I think of the pale clay-cold 
figure of the old man, as he lay last night extended before 
me, and imagine the fury of Albert Lee raging with im- 
patience, his hand on a sword which only his loyalty 
prevents him from plunging into his sovereign's heart — 
nay, the picture is too horrible! Charles must for ever 
change his name to Joseph, even if he were strongly 
tempted, which may fortune in mercy prohibit!' 

To speak the truth of a prince more unfortunate in 
his early companions, and the callousness which he ac- 
quired by his juvenile adventures and irregular mode of 
life, than in his natural disposition, Charles came the 
more readily to this wise conclusion, because he was by 
no means subject to those violent and engrossing pas- 
sions to gratify which the world has been thought well 
lost. His amours, like many of the present day, were 
rather matters of habit and fashion than of passion and 
affection; and, in comparing himself in this respect to his 



grandfather Henn'' IV, he did neither his ancestor nor 
himself perfect justice. He was, to parody the words of a 
bard, himself actuated by the stormy passions which an 
intriguer often only simulates — 

None of those who loved so kindly, 
None of those who loved so blindly. 

An amour was with him a matter of amusement, a regu- 
lar consequence, as it seemed to him, of the ordinary 
course of things in society. He was not at the trouble to 
practise seductive arts, because he had seldom found 
occasion to make use of them, his high rank, and the 
profligacy of part of the female society with which he 
had mingled, rendering them unnecessary. Added to 
this, he had, for the same reason, seldom been crossed by 
the obstinate interference of relations, or even of hus- 
bands, who had generally seemed not unwilling to 
suffer such matters to take their course. So that, not- 
withstanding his total looseness of principle, and sys- 
tematic disbeUef in the virtue of women and the honour 
of men, as connected with the character of their female 
relatives, Charles was not a person to have studiously 
introduced disgrace into a family where a conquest 
might have been violently disputed, attained with diffi- 
culty, and accompanied with general distress, not to 
mention the excitation of all fiercer passions against the 
author of the scandal. 

But the danger of the King's society consisted in his 
being much of an unbeHever in the existence of such 
cases as were likely to be embittered by remorse on the 
part of the principal victim, or rendered perilous by the 
violent resentment of her connexions or relatives. He 


''.<5.- > sT '.^ -' 


had even already found such things treated on the con- 
tinent as matters of ordinary occurrence, subject, in all 
cases where a man of high influence was concerned, to an 
easy arrangement; and he was really, generally speaking, 
sceptical on the subject of severe virtue in either sex, 
and apt to consider it as a veil assumed by prudery in 
women and hypocrisy in men, to extort a higher reward 
for their compliance. 

While we are discussing the character of his disposi- 
tion to gallantry, the wanderer was conducted, by the 
walk he had chosen, through several whimsical turns, 
until at last it brought him under the windows of Victor 
Lee's apartment, where he descried Alice watering and 
arranging some flowers placed on the oriel window, 
which was easily accessible by daylight, although at 
night he had found it a dangerous attempt to scale it. 
But not Alice only, her father also showed himself near 
the window, and beckoned him up. The family party 
seemed now more promising than before, and the fugi- 
tive prince was weary of playing battledore and shuttle- 
cock with his conscience, and much disposed to let 
matters go as chance should determine. 

He climbed lightly up the broken ascent, and was 
readily welcomed by the old knight, who held activity 
in high honour. Ahce also seemed glad to see the lively 
and interesting young man; and by her presence, and 
the unaffected mirth with which she enjoyed his sallies, 
he was animated to display those quaHties of wit and 
humour which nobody possessed in a higher degree. 

His satire delighted the old gentleman, who laughed 
till his eyes ran over as he heard the youth, whose 
claims to his respect he little dreamed of, amusing him 



with successive imitations of the Scottish Presbyterian 
clerg>Tnan, of the proud and poor hidalgo of the North, 
of the fierce and overweening pride and Celtic dialect of 
the mountain chief, of the slow and more pedantic Low- 
lander, with all of which his residence in Scotland had 
made him familiar. Alice also laughed and applauded, 
amused herself and delighted to see that her father was 
so; and the whole party were in the highest glee when 
Albert Lee entered, eager to find Louis Kerneguy and to 
lead him away to a private colloquy with Dr. Roche- 
cliffe, whose zeal, assiduity, and wonderful possession of 
information had constituted him their master-pilot in 
those difficult times. 

It is unnecessary to introduce the reader to the minute 
particulars of their conference. The information ob- 
tained was so far favourable, that the enemy seemed to 
have had no intelligence of the King's route towards the 
south, and remained persuaded that he had made his 
escape from Bristol, as had been reported, and as had 
indeed been proposed; but the master of the vessel pre- 
pared for the Bang's passage had taken the alarm, and 
sailed without his royal freight. His departure, however, 
and the suspicion of the service in which he was engaged, 
served to make the belief general that the King had gone 
off along with him. 

But though this was cheering, the Doctor had more 
unpleasant tidings from the sea-coast, alleging great 
difficulties in securing a vessel to which it might be fit to 
commit a charge so precious; and, above all, requesting 
his Majesty might on no account venture to approach 
the shore until he should receive advice that all the 
previous arrangements had been completely settled. , 



No one was able to suggest a safer place of residence 
than that which he at present occupied. Colonel Ever- 
ard was deemed certainly not personally unfriendly to 
the King; and Cromwell, as was supposed, reposed in 
Everard an unbounded confidence. The interior pre- 
sented numberless hiding-places and secret modes of 
exit, known to no one but the ancient residents of the 
lodge — nay, far better to Rochecliffe than to any of 
them, as, when rector at the neighbouring town, his 
prying disposition as an antiquary had induced him to 
make very many researches among the old ruins, the 
results of which he was believed, in some instances, to 
have kept to himself. 

To balance these conveniences, it was no doubt true 
that the ParUamentary Commissioners were still at no 
great distance, and would be ready to resume their 
authority upon the first opportunity. But no one sup- 
posed such an opportunity was Hkely to occur; and all 
believed, as the influence of Cromwell and the army grew 
more and more predominant, that the disappointed 
Commissioners would attempt nothing in contradiction 
to his pleasure, but wait with patience an indemnifica- 
tion in some other quarter for their vacated commis- 
sions. Report, through the voice of Master Joseph 
Tomkins, stated that they had determined, in the first 
place, to retire to Oxford, and were maldng preparations 
accordingly. This promised still further to ensure the 
security of Woodstock. It was therefore settled that the 
King, under the character of Louis Kerneguy, should 
remain an inmate of the lodge until a vessel should be 
procured for his escape, at the port which might be es- 
teemed the safest and most convenient. 


The deadliest snakes are those which, twined 'mongst flowers, 
Blend their bright colouring with the varied blossoms, 
Their fierce eyes glittering like the spangled dewdrop; 
In all so like what nature has most harmless. 
That sportive innocence, which dreads no danger. 
Is poison'd unawares. 

Old Play. 

Charles (we must now give him his own name) was 
easily reconciled to the circumstances which rendered 
his residence at Woodstock advisable. No doubt he 
would much rather have secured his safety by making an 
immediate escape out of England ; but he had been con- 
demned already to many uncomfortable lurking-places, 
and more disagreeable disguises, as well as to long and 
difficult journeys, during which, between pragmatical 
ofl&cers of justice belonging to the prevailing party, and 
parties of soldiers whose officers usually took on them to 
act on their own warrant, risk of discovery had more 
than once become very imminent. He was glad, there- 
fore, of comparative repose and of comparative safety. 
Then it must be considered that Charles had been 
entirely reconciled to the society at Woodstock since he 
had become better acquainted with it. He had seen that, 
to interest the beautiful Alice, and procure a great deal 
of her company, nothing more was necessary than to 
submit to the humours, and cultivate the intimacy, of 
the old Cavalier her father. A few bouts at fencing, in 
which Charles took care not to put out his more perfect 
skill and full youthful strength and activity; the endur- 



ance of a few scenes from Shakespeare, which the knight 
read with more zeal than taste; a little skill in music, in 
which the old man had been a proficient; the deference 
paid to a few old-fashioned opinions, at which Charles 
laughed in his sleeve — were all-sufiicient to gain for the 
disguised prince an interest in Sir Henry Lee, and to 
conciliate in an equal degree the good-will of his lovely 

Never were there two young persons who could be 
said to commence this species of intimacy with such 
unequal advantages. Charles was a Ubertine, who, if he 
did not in cold blood resolve upon prosecuting his pas- 
sion for Alice to a dishonourable conclusion, was at every 
moment liable to be provoked to attempt the strength 
of a virtue in which he was no believer. Then Alice, on 
her part, hardly knew even what was implied by the 
word libertine or seducer. Her mother had died early 
in the commencement of the Civil War, and she had 
been bred up chiefly with her brother and cousin; so that 
she had an unfearing and unsuspicious frankness of 
manner, upon which Charles was not unwilling or un- 
likely to put a construction favourable to his own views. 
Even Alice's love for her cousin — the first sensation 
which awakens the most innocent and simple mind to 
feelings of shyness and restraint towards the male sex 
in general — had failed to excite such an alarm in her 
bosom. They were nearly related ; and Everard, though 
young, was several years her elder, and had, from her 
infancy, been an object of her respect as well as of her 
affection. When this early and childish intimacy ripened 
into youthful love, confessed and returned, still it dif- 
fered in some shades from the passion existing between 

1 06 


lovers originally strangers to each other, until their 
aflfections have been united in the ordinary course of 
courtship. Their love was fonder, more familiar, more 
perfectly confidential, purer too, perhaps, and more free 
from starts of passionate violence or appprehensive 

The possibility that any one could have attempted to 
rival Everard in her affection was a circumstance which 
never occurred to Ahce; and that this singular Scottish 
lad, whom she laughed with on account of his humour, 
and laughed at for his peculiarities, should be an object of 
danger or of caution never once entered her imagination. 
The sort of intimacy to which she admitted Kerneguy 
was the same to which she would have received a com- 
panion of her own sex, whose manners she did not always 
approve, but whose society she found always amusing. 

It was natural that the freedom of Alice Lee's con- 
duct, which arose from the most perfect indifference, 
should pass for something approaching to encourage- 
ment in the royal gallant's apprehension, and that any 
resolutions he had formed against being tempted to 
violate the hospitality of Woodstock should begin to 
totter, as opportunities for doing so became more 

These opportunities were favoured by Albert's depart- 
ure from Woodstock the very day after his arrival. It 
had been agreed in full council with Charles and Roche- 
cliffe that he should go to visit his uncle Everard in the 
county of Kent, and, by showing himself there, obviate 
any cause of suspicion which might arise from his resi- 
dence at Woodstock, and remove any pretext for dis- 
turbing his father's family on account of their harbour- 



ing one who had been so lately in arms. He had also 
undertaken, at his own great personal risk, to visit differ- 
ent points on the sea-coast, and ascertain the security of 
different places for providing shipping for the King's 
leaving England. 

These circumstances were alike calculated to procure 
the King's safety and faciHtate his escape. But Alice 
was thereby deprived of the presence of her brother, 
who would have been her most watchful guardian, but 
who had set down the King's light talk upon a former 
occasion to the gaiety of his humour, and would have 
thought he had done his sovereign great injustice had 
he seriously suspected him of such a breach of hospi- 
tality as a dishonourable pursuit of Alice would have 

There were, however, two of the household at Wood- 
stock who appeared not so entirely reconciled with 
Louis Kerneguy or his purposes. The one was Bevis, 
who seemed, from their first unfriendly rencontre, to 
have kept up a pique against their new guest, which 
no advances on the part of Charles were able to soften. 
If the page was by chance left alone with his young 
mistress, Bevis chose always to be of the party, came 
close by Alice's chair and growled audibly when the 
gallant drew near her. 'It is a pity,' said the disguised 
prince, * that your Bevis is not a bull-dog, that we might 
dub him a Roundhead at once. He is too handsome, 
too noble, too aristocratic to nourish those inhospitable 
prejudices against a poor houseless Cavalier. I am con- 
vinced the spirit of Pym or Hampden has transmigrated 
into the rogue, and continues to demonstrate his hatred 
against royalty and all its adherents.' 



Alice would then reply, that Bevis was loyal in word 
and deed, and only partook her father's prejudices 
against the Scots, which, she could not but acknowledge 
were tolerably strong. 

'Nay, then,' said the supposed Louis, *I must find 
some other reason, for I cannot allow Sir Bevis's resent- 
ment to rest upon national antipathy. So we will sup- 
pose that some gallant CavaUer, who wended to the 
wars and never returned, has adopted this shape to 
look back upon the haunts he left so unwillingly, and 
is jealous at seeing even poor Louis Kerneguy drawing 
near to the lady of his lost affections. ' He approached 
her chair as he spoke, and Bevis gave one of his deep 

*In that case, you had best keep your distance,' said 
Alice, laughing, ' for the bite of a dog possessed by the 
ghost of a jealous lover cannot be very safe.' And the 
King carried on the dialogue in the same strain, which, 
while it led Alice to apprehend nothing more serious 
than the apish gallantry of a fantastic boy, certainly 
induced the supposed Louis Kerneguy to think that 
he had made one of those conquests which often and 
easily fall to the share of sovereigns. Notwithstanding 
the acuteness of his apprehension, he was not sufficiently 
aware that the royal road to female favour is only open 
to monarchs when they travel in grand costume, and 
that when they woo incognito their path of courtship 
is liable to the same windings and obstacles which ob- 
struct the course of private individuals. 

There was, besides Bevis, another member of the 
family who kept a look-out upon Louis Kerneguy, and 
with no friendly eye. Phoebe Mayflower, though her 



experience extended not beyond the sphere of the vil- 
lage, yet knew the world much better than her mistress, 
and besides she was five years older. More knowing, 
she was more suspicious. She thought that odd-looking 
Scotch boy made more up to her young mistress than 
was proper for his condition of hfe; and, moreover, that 
AHce gave him a Httle more encouragement than Par- 
thenia would have afforded to any such Jack-a-dandy 
in the absence of Argalus; for the volume treating of the 
loves of these celebrated Arcadians was then the favour- 
ite study of swains and damsels throughout merry 
England. Entertaining such suspicions, Phoebe was at 
a loss how to conduct herself on the occasion, and yet 
resolved she would not see the slightest chance of the 
course of Colonel Everard's true love being obstructed 
without attempting a remedy. She had a peculiar 
favour for Markham herself; and moreover, he was, 
according to her phrase, as handsome and personable 
a young man as was in Oxfordshire; and this Scottish 
scarecrow was no more to be compared to him than 
chalk was to cheese. And yet she allowed that Master 
Girnigy had a wonderfully well-oiled tongue, and that 
such gallants were not to be despised. What was to be 
done? She had no facts to offer, only vague suspicions; 
and was afraid to speak to her mistress, whose kind- 
ness, great as it was, did not, nevertheless, encourage 

She sounded Jocehne ; but he was, she knew not why, 
so deeply interested about this unlucky lad, and held his 
importance so high, that she could make no impression 
on him. To speak to the old knight would have been to 
raise a general tempest. The worthy chaplain, who was at 



Woodstock grand referee on all disputed matters, would 
have been the damsel's most natural resource, for he 
was peaceful as well as moral by profession, and poHtic 
by practice. But it happened he had given Phcebe un- 
intentional offence by speaking of her under the classical 
epithet of Rustica Fidele, the which epithet, as she un- 
derstood it not, she held herself bound to resent as con- 
tumelious, and declaring she was not fonder of a fiddle 
than other folk, had ever since shunned all intercourse 
with Dr. Rochecliffe which she could easily avoid. 

Master Tomkins was always coming and going about 
the house under various pretexts; but he was a Round- 
head, and she was too true to the Cavaliers to introduce 
any of the enemy as parties to their internal discords; 
besides, he had talked to Phoebe herself in a manner 
which induced her to decline everything in the shape of 
famiUarity with him. Lastly, CavaHero Wildrake might 
have been consulted; but Phcebe had her own reasons 
for saying, as she did with some emphasis, that Cava- 
Hero Wildrake was an impudent London rake. At length 
she resolved to communicate her suspicions to the party 
having most interest in verifying or confuting them. 

'I'll let Master Markham Everard know that there 
is a wasp buzzing about his honeycomb,' said Phoebe; 
'and, moreover, that I know that this young Scotch 
scapegrace shifted himself out of a woman's into a man's 
dress at Goody Green's, and gave Goody Green's Dolly 
a gold piece to say nothing about it; and no more she 
did to any one but me, and she knows best herself 
whether she gave change for the gold or not; but Master 
Louis is a saucy jackanapes, and like enough to ask it.' 

Three or four days elapsed while matters continued 


in this condition, the disguised prince sometimes think- 
ing on the intrigue which Fortune seemed to have thrown 
in his way for his amusement, and taking advantage 
of such opportunities as occurred to increase his inti- 
macy with Alice Lee; but much oftener harassing Dr. 
RochecUffe with questions about the possibiUty of escape, 
which the good man finding himself unable to answer, 
secured his leisure against royal importunity by retreat- 
ing into the various unexplored recesses of the lodge, 
known perhaps only to himself, who had been for nearly 
a score of years employed in writing the 'Wonders of 

It chanced on the fourth day that some trifling cir- 
cumstance had called the knight abroad; and he had left 
the young Scotsman, now familiar in the family, along 
with Ahce in the parlour of Victor Lee. Thus situated, 
he thought the time not unpropitious for entering upon 
a strain of gallantry of a kind which might be called ex- 
perimental, such as is practised by the Croats in skir- 
mishing, when they keep bridle in hand, ready to attack 
the enemy or canter off without coming to close quar- 
ters, as circumstances may recommend. After using for 
nearly ten minutes a sort of metaphysical jargon, which 
might, according to AHce's pleasure, have been inter- 
preted either into gallantry or the language of serious 
pretension, and when he supposed her engaged in fath- 
oming his meaning, he had the mortification to find, 
by a single and brief question, that he had been totally 
unattended to, and that AHce was thinking on anything 
at the moment rather than the sense of what he had been 
saying. She asked him if he could tell what it was o'clock, 
and this with an air of real curiosity concerning the lapse 

112 , 


of time which put coquetry wholly out of the question. 

*I will go look at the sun-dial, Mistress Alice,' said 
the gallant, rising and colouring, through a sense of the 
contempt with which he thought himself treated. 

*You will do me a pleasure. Master Kemeguy,' said 
Alice, without the least consciousness of the indignation 
she had excited. 

Master Louis Kerneguy left the room accordingly, 
not, however, to procure the information required, but 
to vent his anger and mortification, and to swear, with 
more serious purpose than he had dared to do before, 
that Alice should rue her insolence. Good-natured as he 
was, he was still a prince, unaccustomed to contradic- 
tion, far less to contempt, and his self-pride felt, for 
the moment, wounded to the quick. With a hasty step 
he plunged into the chase, only remembering his own 
safety so far as to choose the deeper and sequestered 
avenues, where, walking on with the speedy and active 
step which his recovery from fatigue now permitted him 
to exercise according to his wont, he solaced his angry 
purposes, by devising schemes of revenge on the inso- 
lent country coquette, from which no consideration of 
hospitality was in future to have weight enough to save 

The irritated gallant passed 

The dial-stone, aged and green, 

without deigning to ask it a single question; nor could 
it have satisfied his curiosity if he had, for no sun hap- 
pened to shine at the moment. He then hastened for- 
ward, mufiling himself in his cloak, and assuming a 
stooping and slouching gait, which diminished his ap- 

88 113 


parent height. He was soon involved in the deep and 
dim alleys of the wood, into which he had insensibly- 
plunged himself, and was traversing it at a great rate, 
without having any distinct idea in what direction he 
was going, when suddenly his course was arrested, first 
by a loud halloo, and then by a summons to stand, ac- 
companied by what seemed still more startling and ex- 
traordinary, the touch of a cane upon his shoulder, im- 
posed in a good-humoured but somewhat imperious 

There were few symptoms of recognition which would 
have been welcome at this moment; but the appearance 
of the person who had thus arrested his course was least 
of all that he could have anticipated as timely or agree- 
able. When he turned, on receiving the signal, he be- 
held himself close to a young man nearly six feet in 
height, well made in joint and limb, but the gravity of 
whose apparel, although handsome and gentlemanUke, 
and a sort of precision in his habit, from the cleanness 
and stiffness of his band to the unsullied purity of his 
Spanish-leather shoes, bespoke a love of order which 
was foreign to the impoverished and vanquished Cava- 
liers, and proper to the habits of those of the victorious 
party, who could afford to dress themselves handsomely, 
and whose rule — that is, such as regarded the higher 
and more respectable classes — enjoined decency and 
sobriety of garb and deportment. There was yet an- 
other weight against the prince in the scale, and one still 
more characteristic of the inequality in the comparison 
under which he seemed to labour. There was strength 
in the muscular form of the stranger who had brought 
him to this involuntary parley, authority and determina- 



tion in his brow, a long rapier on the left, and a poniard 
or dagger on the right, side of his belt, and a pair of 
pistols stuck into it, which would have been sufficient 
to give the unknown the advantage (Louis Kerneguy 
havmg no weapon but his sword), even had his personal 
strength approached nearer than it did to that of the 
person by whom he was thus suddenly stopped. 

Bitterly regretting the thoughtless fit of passion that 
brought him into his present situation, but especially 
the want of the pistols he had left behind, and which do 
so much to place bodily strength and weakness upon 
an equal footing, Charles yet availed himself of the cour- 
age and presence of mind in which few of his unfortunate 
family had for centuries been deficient. He stood firm 
and without motion, his cloak still wrapped round the 
lower part of his face, to give time for explanation, in case 
he was mistaken for some other person. 

This coolness produced its effect; for the other party 
said, with doubt and surprise on his part, 'Joceline 
Joliffe, is it not? If I know not Joccline Joliffe, I should 
at least know my own cloak.' 

* I am not Jocehne Joliffe, as you may see, sir, ' said 
Kerneguy, calmly, drawing himself erect to show the 
difference of size, and dropping the cloak from his face 
and person. 

'Indeed!' replied the stranger, in surprise; Hhen, sir 
unknown, I have to express my regret at having used 
my cane in intimating that I wished you to stop. From 
that dress, which I certainly recognise for my own, I 
concluded you must be Joceline, in whose custody I had 
left my habit at the lodge.' 

'If it had been Joceline, sir,' replied the supposed 



Kerneguy, with perfect composure, 'methinks you 
should not have struck so hard.' 

The other party was obviously confused by the steady 
calmness with which he was encountered. The sense 
of poHteness dictated, in the first place, an apology 
for a mistake, when he thought he had been toler- 
ably certain of the person. Master Kerneguy was not 
in a situation to be punctilious: he bowed gravely, 
as indicating his acceptance of the excuse offered, then 
turned, and walked, as he conceived, towards the 
lodge, though he had traversed the woods, which were 
cut with various alleys in different directions, too has- 
tily to be certain of the real course which he wished to 

He was much embarrassed to find that this did not 
get him rid of the companion whom he had thus invol- 
untarily acquired. Walked he slow, walked he fast, his 
friend in the genteel but Puritanic habit, strong in per- 
son, and well armed, as we have described him, seemed 
determined to keep him company, and, without attempt- 
ing to join or enter into conversation, never suffered 
him to outstrip his surveillance for more than two or 
three yards. The wanderer mended his pace; but al- 
though he was then, in his youth, as afterwards in his 
riper age, one of the best walkers in Britain, the stranger, 
without advancing his pace to a run, kept fully equal 
to him, and his persecution became so close, and con- 
stant, and inevitable, that the pride and fear of 
Charles were both alarmed, and he began to think 
that, whatever the danger might be of a single-handed 
rencontre, he would nevertheless have a better bar- 
gain of this tall satellite if they settled the debate be- 



twixt them in the forest than if they drew near any 
place of habitation, where the man in authority was 
likely to find friends and concurrence. 

Betwixt anxiety, therefore, vexation, and anger, 
Charles faced suddenly round on his pursuer as they 
reached a small, narrow glade which led to the little 
meadow over which presided the King's Oak, the ragged 
and scathed branches and gigantic trunk of which formed 
a vista to the Uttlc wild avenue. 

'Sir,' said he to his pursuer, 'you have already been 
guilty of one piece of impertinence towards me. You 
have apologised ; and knowing no reason why you should 
distinguish me as an object of incivility, I have accepted 
your excuse without scruple. Is there anything remains 
to be settled betwixt us, which causes you to follow me 
in this manner? If so, I shall be glad to make it a subject 
of explanation or satisfaction, as the case may admit of. 
I think you can owe me no malice, for I never saw you 
before to my knowledge. If you can give any good reason 
for asking it, I am willing to render you personal satis- 
faction. If your purpose is merely impertinent curiosity, 
I let you know that I will not suffer myself to be dogged 
in my private walks by any one.' 

'When I recognise my own cloak on another man's 
shoulders,' repUcd the stranger, drily, 'methinks I have 
a natural right to follow, and see what becomes of it; 
for know, sir, though I have been mistaken as to the 
wearer, yet I am confident I had as good a right to stretch 
my cane across the cloak you are muffled in as ever had 
any one to brush his own garments. If, therefore, we 
are to be friends, I must ask, for instance, how you came 
by that cloak, and where you are going with it? I shall 



otherwise make bold to stop you, as one who has suflEi- 
cient commission to do so.' 

'Oh, unhappy cloak,' thought the wanderer, *ay, 
and thrice unhappy the idle fancy that sent me here 
with it wrapped around my nose, to pick quarrels and 
attract observation, when quiet and secrecy were pe- 
culiarly essential to my safety!' 

'If you will allow me to guess, sir,' continued the 
stranger, who was no other than Markham Everard, 
* I will convince you that you are better known than you 
think for.' 

'Now, Heaven forbid!' prayed the party addressed, 
in silence, but with as much devotion as ever he applied 
to a prayer in his life. Yet, even in this moment of ex- 
treme urgency, his courage and composure did not fail; 
and he recollected it was of the utmost importance not 
to seem startled, and to answer so as, if possible, to lead 
the dangerous companion with whom he had met to 
confess the extent of his actual knowledge or suspicions 
concerning him. 

'If you know me, sir,' he said, 'and are a gentleman, 
as your appearance promises, you cannot be at a loss to 
discover to what accident you must attribute my wear- 
ing these clothes, which you say are yours.' 

'Oh, sir,' rephed Colonel Everard, his wrath in no 
sort turned away by the mildness of the stranger's 
answer, 'we have learned our Ovid's "Metamorphoses," 
and we know for what purposes young men of quality 
travel in disguise; we know that even female attire is 
resorted to on certain occasions: we have heard of Ver- 
tumnus and Pomona.' 

The monarch, as he weighed these words, again ut- 



tered a devout prayer that this ill-looking affair might 
have no deeper root than the jealousy of some admirer 
of Alice Lee, promising to himself that, devotee as he 
was to the fair sex, he would make no scruple of renounc- 
ing the fairest of Eve's daughters in order to get out 
of the present dilemma. 

* Sir,' he said, 'you seem to be a gentleman. I have no 
objection to tell you, as such, that I also am of that 

'Or somewhat higher, perhaps?' said Everard. 

'A gentleman,' repUed Charles, 'is a term which com- 
prehends all ranks entitled to armorial bearings. A 
duke, a lord, a prince is no more than a gentleman; and 
if in misfortune, as I am, he may be glad if that general 
term of courtesy is allowed him.' 

'Sir,' replied Everard, ' I have no purpose to entrap 
you to any acknowledgment fatal to your safety. Nor 
do I hold it my business to be active in the arrest of 
private individuals, whose perverted sense of national 
duty may have led them into errors rather to be pitied 
than punished by candid men. But if those who have 
brought civil war and disturbance into their native 
country proceed to carry dishonour and disgrace into 
the bosom of families, if they attempt to carry on their 
private debaucheries to the injury of the hospitable roofs 
which afford them refuge from the consequences of their 
public crimes, do you think, my lord, that we shall bear 
it with patience?' 

'If it is your purpose to quarrel with me,' said the 
prince, ' speak it out at once like a gentleman. You have 
the advantage, no doubt, of arms, but it is not that odds 
which will induce me to fly from a single man. If, on 



the other hand, you are disposed to hear reason, I tell 
you in calm words, that I neither suspect the offence to 
which you allude nor comprehend why you give me the 
title of my lord.' 

' You deny, then, being the Lord Wilmot? ' said Ever- 

*I may do so most safely,' said the prince. 

'Perhaps you rather style yourself Earl of Roches- 
ter? We heard that the issuing of some such patent 
by the King of Scots was a step which your ambition 

'Neither lord nor earl am I, as sure as I have a Christ- 
ian soul to be saved. My name is — ' 

*Do not degrade yourself by unnecessary falsehood, 
my lord, and that to a single man, who, I promise you, 
will not invoke public justice to assist his own good 
sword should he see cause to use it. Can you look at that 
ring and deny that you are Lord Wilmot? ' 

He handed to the disguised prince a ring which he took 
from his purse, and his opponent instantly knew it for 
the same he had dropped into AUce's pitcher at the 
fountain, obeying only, though imprudently, the gal- 
lantry of the moment, in giving a pretty gem to a hand- 
some girl, whom he had accidentally frightened. 

*I know the ring,' he said; 'it has been in my posses- 
sion. How it should prove me to be Lord Wilmot, I can- 
not conceive; and beg to say, it bears false witness 
against me.' 

'You shall see the evidence,' answered Everard; and 
resuming the ring, he pressed a spring ingeniously con- 
trived in the collet of the setting, on which the stone 
flew back and showed within it the cipher of Lord Wilmot 



beau tif ully engraved in miniature, with a coronet. ' What 
say you now, sir? ' 

'That probabilities are no proofs,' said the prince; 
* there is nothing here save what can be easily accounted 
for. I am the son of a Scottish nobleman, who was mor- 
tally wounded and made prisoner at Worcester fight. 
When he took leave, and bid me fly, he gave me the few 
valuables he possessed, and that among others. I have 
heard him talk of having changed rings with Lord Wil- 
mot, on some occasion in Scotland, but I never knew the 
trick of the gem which you have shown me.' 

In this, it may be necessary to say, Charles spoke 
very truly; nor would he have parted with it in the way 
he did, had he suspected it would be easily recognised. 
He proceeded after a minute's pause: 'Once more, sir 
— I have told you much that concerns my safety; if you 
are generous, you will let me pass, and I may do you on 
some future day as good service. If you mean to arrest 
me, you must do so here, and at your own peril, for I 
will neither walk farther your way nor permit you to 
dog me on mine. If you let me pass, I will thank you; 
if not, take to your weapon.' 

'Young gentleman,' said Colonel Everard, 'whether 
you be actually the gay young nobleman for whom I 
took you, you have made me uncertain; but, intimate as 
you say your family has been with him, I have little 
doubt that you are proficient in the school of debauch- 
ery of which Wilmot and Villiers are professors, and their 
hopeful master a graduated student. Your conduct at 
Woodstock, where you have rewarded the hospitality 
of the family by meditating the most deadly wound to 
their honour, has proved you too apt a scholar in such 



an academy. I intended only to warn you on this sub- 
ject; it will be your own fault if I add chastisement to 

'Warn me, sir!' said the prince, indignantly, 'and 
chastisement! This is presuming more on my patience 
than is consistent with your own safety. Draw, sir.' So 
saying, he laid his hand on his sword. 

'My religion,' said Everard, 'forbids me to be rash in 
shedding blood. Go home, sir — be wise — consult the 
dictates of honour as well as prudence. Respect the 
honour of the house of Lee, and know there is one nearly 
allied to it by whom your motions will be called to severe 

'Aha!' said the prince, with a bitter laugh, *I see the 
whole matter now: we have our Roundheaded colonel, 
our Puritan cousin, before us — the man of texts and 
morals, whom Alice Lee laughs at so heartily. If your 
religion, sir, prevents you from giving satisfaction, it 
should prevent you from offering insult to a person of 

The passions of both were now fully up; they drew 
mutually, and began to fight, the colonel relinquishing 
the advantage he could have obtained by the use of his 
firearms. A thrust of the arm or a slip of the foot might, 
at the moment, have changed the destinies of Britain, 
when the arrival of a third party broke off the combat. 


Stay! the king hath thrown his warder down. 

Richard II. 

The combatants whom we left engaged at the end of the 
last chapter made mutual passes at each other with ap- 
parently equal skill and courage. Charles had been too 
often in action, and too long a party as well as a victim 
to civil war, to find anything new or surprising in being 
obliged to defend himself with his own hands; and Ever- 
ard had been distinguished as well for his personal brav- 
ery as for the other properties of a commander. But the 
arrival of a third party prevented the tragic conclusion 
of a combat in which the success of either party must 
have given him such cause for regretting his victory. 

It was the old knight himself who arrived, mounted 
upon a forest pony, for the war and sequestration had 
left him no steed of a more dignified description. He 
thrust himself between the combatants, and commanded 
them on their lives to hold. So soon as a glance from 
one to the other had ascertained to him whom he had to 
deal with, he demanded, * Whether the devils of Wood- 
stock whom folk talked about had got possession of 
them both, that they were tilting at each other within 
the verge of the royal liberties? Let me tell both of you,' 
he said, ' that, while old Henry Lee is at Woodstock, the 
immunities of the park shall be maintained as much as 
if the King were still on the throne. None shall fight 
duellos here, excepting the stags in their season. Put up, 



both of you, or I shall lug out as thirdsman, and prove 
perhaps the worst devil of the three. As Will says — 

I'll so maul you and your toasting-irons, 

That you shall think the Devil has come from Hell.' 

The combatants desisted from their encounter, but 
stood looking at each other sullenly, as men do in such 
a situation, each unwilling to seem to desire peace more 
than the other, and averse therefore to be the first to 
sheathe his sword. 

'Return your weapons, gentlemen, upon the spot,' 
said the knight yet more peremptorily, 'one and both of 
you, or you will have something to do with me, I prom- 
ise you. You may be thankful times are changed. I 
have known them such, that your insolence might have 
cost each of you your right hand, if not redeemed with a 
round sum of money. Nephew, if you do not mean to 
ahenate me for ever, I command you to put up. Mas- 
ter Kerneguy, you are my guest. I request of you not 
to do me the insult of remaining with your sword drawn, 
where it is my duty to see peace observed.' 

*I obey you, Sir Henry,' said the King, sheathing his 
rapier. ' I hardly indeed know wherefore I was assaulted 
by this gentleman. I assure you, none respects the 
King's person or privileges more than myself, though 
the devotion is somewhat out of fashion.' 

'We may find a place to meet, sir,' repHed Everard, 
'where neither the royal person nor privileges can be 

'Faith, very hardly, sir,' said Charles, unable to sup- 
press the rising jest — 'I mean, the King has so few fol- 
lowers, that the loss of the least of them might be some 



small damage to him; but, risking all that, I will meet 
you wherever there is fair field for a poor Cavalier to get 
ofif in safety, if he has the luck in fight.' 

Sir Henry Lee's first idea had been fixed upon the in- 
sult oflfered to the royal demesne; he now began to turn 
them towards the safety of his kinsman, and of the 
young Royalist, as he deemed him. 'Gentlemen,' he 
said, 'I must insist on this business being put to a final 
end. Nephew Markham, is this your return for my con- 
descension in coming back to Woodstock on your war- 
rant, that you should take an opportunity to cut the 
throat of my guest?' 

'If you knew his purpose as well as I do — ' said 
Markham, and then paused, conscious that he might 
only incense his uncle without convincing him, as any- 
thing he might say of Kerneguy's addresses to AHce was 
likely to be imputed to his own jealous suspicions; he 
looked on the ground, therefore, and was silent. 

'And you. Master Kerneguy,' said Sir Henry, 'can 
you give me any reason why you seek to take the life of 
this young man, in whom, though unhappily forgetful 
of his loyalty and duty, I must yet take some interest, as 
my nephew by affinity? ' 

'I was not aware the gentleman enjoyed that honour, 
which certainly would have protected him from my 
sword,' answered Kerneguy. 'But the quarrel is his; 
nor can I tell any reason why he fixed it upon me, unless 
it were the difference of our political opinions.' 

'You know the contrary,' said Everard: 'you know 
that I told you you were safe from me as a fugitive Roy- 
alist; and your last words showed you were at no loss to 
guess my connexion with Sir Henry. That, indeed, is of 



little consequence. I should debase myself did I use the 
relationship as a means of protection from you or any 

As they thus disputed, neither choosing to approach 
the real cause of quarrel, Sir Henry looked from the one 
to the other with a peacemaking countenance, exclaim- 

'Why, what an intricate impeach is this? 
I think you both have drunk of Circe's cup. 

Come, my young masters, allow an old man to mediate 
between you. I am not short-sighted in such matters. 
The mother of mischief is no bigger than a gnat's wing; 
and I have known fifty instances in my own day, when, 
as Will says — 

Gallants have been confronted hardily, 
In single opposition, hand to hand, 

in which, after the field was fought, no one could remem- 
ber the cause of quarrel. Tush ! a small thing will do it 
— the taking of the wall, or the gentle rub of the shoulder 
in passing each other, or a hasty word, or a misconceived 
gesture. Come, forget your cause of quarrel, be what it 
will; you have had your breathing, and though you put 
up your rapiers unbloodied, that was no default of yours, 
but by command of your elder, and one who had right 
to use authority. In Malta, where the duello is punc- 
tihously well understood, the persons engaged in a single 
combat are bound to halt on the command of a knight, 
or priest, or lady, and the quarrel so interrupted is held 
as honourably terminated, and may not be revived. 
Nephew, it is, I think, impossible that you can nourish 
spleen against this young gentleman for having fought 



for his king. Hear my honest proposal, Markham. You 
know I bear no malice, though I have some reason to be 
offended with you. Give the young man your hand in 
friendship, and we will back to the lodge, all three to- 
gether, and drink a cup of sack in token of reconciliation.' 

Markham Everard found himself unable to resist this 
approach towards kindness on his uncle's part. He sus- 
pected, indeed, what was partly the truth, that it was 
not entirely from reviving good- will, but also, that his 
uncle thought, by such attention, to secure his neutral- 
ity at least, if not his assistance, for the safety of the 
fugitive Royalist. He was sensible that he was placed 
in an awkward predicament; and that he might incur the 
suspicions of his own party, for holding intercourse even 
with a near relation who harboured such guests. But, 
on the other hand, he thought his services to the Com- 
monwealth had been of sufficient importance to out- 
weigh whatever envy might urge on that topic. Indeed, 
although the Civil War had divided families much, and 
in many various ways, yet, when it seemed ended by the 
triumph of the republicans, the rage of political hatred 
began to relent, and the ancient ties of kindred and 
friendship regained at least a part of their former influ- 
ence. Many reunions were formed; and those who, like 
Everard, adhered to the conquering party, often exerted 
themselves for the protection of their deserted relatives. 

As these things rushed through his mind, accompa- 
nied with the prospect of a renewed intercourse with 
Alice Lee, by means of which he might be at hand to 
protect her against every chance either of injury or in- 
sult, he held out his hand to the supposed Scottish page, 
saying at the same time, 'That, for his part, he was very 



ready to forget the cause of quarrel, or rather, to con- 
sider it as arising out of a misapprehension, and to offer 
Master Kerneguy such friendship as might exist be- 
tween honourable men who had embraced different 
sides in politics.' 

Unable to overcome the feeling of personal dignity, 
which prudence recommended to him to forget, Louis 
Kerneguy in return bowed low, but without accepting 
Everard's proffered hand. 

*He had no occasion,' he said, 'to make any exertions 
to forget the cause of quarrel, for he had never been able 
to comprehend it; but, as he had not shunned the gentle- 
man's resentment, so he was now willing to embrace 
and return any degree of his favour with which he might 
be pleased to honour him.' 

Everard withdrew his hand with a smile, and bowed 
in return to the salutation of the page, whose stiff recep- 
tion of his advances he imputed to the proud, pettish 
disposition of a Scotch boy, trained up in extravagant 
ideas of family consequence and personal importance, 
which his acquaintance with the world had not yet been 
sufficient to dispel. 

Sir Henry Lee, delighted with the termination of the 
quarrel, which he supposed to be in deep deference to his 
own authority, and not displeased with the opportunity 
of renewing some acquaintance with his nephew, who 
had, notwithstanding his political demerits, a warmer 
interest in his affections than he was, perhaps, himself 
aware of, said, in a tone of consolation, 'Never be morti- 
fied, young gentlemen. I protest it went to my heart to 
part you, when I saw you stretching yourselves so hand- 
somely, and in fair love of honour, without any malicious 



or bloodthirsty thoughts. I promise you, had it not been 
for my duty as ranger here, and sworn to the office, I 
would rather have been your umpire than your hin- 
derance. But a finished quarrel is a forgotten quarrel; 
and your tilting should have no further consequence 
excepting the appetite it may have given you.' 

So saying, he urged forward his pony, and moved in 
triumph towards the lodge by the nearest alley. His 
feet almost touching the ground, the ball of his toe Just 
resting in the stirrup, the forepart of the thigh brought 
round to the saddle, the heels turned outwards, and sunk 
as much as possible, his body precisely erect, the reins 
properly and systematically divided in his left hand, his 
right holding a riding-rod diagonally pointed towards the 
horse's left ear, he seemed a champion of the menage, fit 
to have reined Bucephalus himself. His youthful compan- 
ions, who attended on either hand like equerries, could 
scarce suppress a smile at the completely adjusted and 
systematic posture of the rider, contrasted with the wild 
and diminutive appearance of the pony, with its shaggy 
coat, and long tail and mane, and its keen eyes spark- 
ling like red coals from amongst the mass of hair which 
fell over its small countenance. If the reader has the 
Duke of Newcastle's book on horsemanship (splendida 
moles I) he may have some idea of the figure of the good 
knight, if he can conceive such a figure as one of the cav- 
aliers there represented, seated, in all the graces of his 
art, on a Welsh or Exmoor pony, in its native savage 
state, without grooming or discipline of any kind, the 
ridicule being greatly enhanced by the disproportion of 
size betwixt the animal and its rider. 

Perhaps the knight saw their wonder, for the first 
38 129 


words he said after they left the ground were, 'Pixie, 
though small, is mettlesome, gentlemen (here he con- 
trived that Pixie should himself corroborate the asser- 
tion, by executing a gambade) — he is diminutive, but 
full of spirit; indeed, save that I am somewhat too large 
for an elfin horseman (the knight was upwards of six 
feet high), I should remind myself, when I mount him, 
of the Fairy King, as described by Mike Drayton: 

Himself he on an earwig set, 

Yet scarce upon his back could get, 

So oft and high he did curvet, 

Ere he himself did settle. 
He made him stop, and turn, and bound, 
To gallop, and to trot the round. 
He scarce could stand on any ground, 

He was so full of mettle.' 

*My old friend, PLxie!' said Everard, stroking the 
pony's neck, 'I am glad that he has survived all these 
busthng days. PLxie must be above twenty years old, 
Sir Henry? ' 

'Above twenty years, certainly. Yes, nephew Mark- 
ham, war is a whirlwind in a plantation, which only 
spares what is least worth lea\'ing. Old Pixie and his old 
master have survived many a tall fellow and many a 
great horse, neither of them good for much themselves. 
Yet, as Will says, an old man can do somewhat. So 
PLxie and I still survive.' 

So saying, he again contrived that PLxie should show 
some remnants of activity. 

'Still survive!' said the young Scot, completing the 
sentence which the good knight had left unfinished — 
'ay, still survive, 

To witch the world with noble horsemanship.' 


Everard coloured, for he felt the irony; but not so his 
uncle, whose simple vanity never permitted him to 
doubt the sincerity of the compliment. 

'Are you avised of that?' he said. 'In King James's 
time, indeed, I have appeared in the tilt-yard, and there 
you might have said — 

You saw young Harry with his beaver up. 

As to seeing old Harry, why — ' Here the knight paused, 
and looked as a bashful man in labour of a pun. 'As to 
old Harry — why, you might as well see the De^oil . You 
take me. Master Kerneguy: the Devil, you know, is my 
namesake — ha — ha — ha! Cousin Everard, I hope 
your precision is not startled by an innocent jest? ' 

He was so delighted with the applause of both of his 
companions, that he recited the whole of the celebrated 
passage referred to, and concluded with defpng the 
present age, bundle all its wits, Donne, Cowley, Waller, 
and the rest of them together, to produce a poet of a 
tenth part of the genius of old Will. 

'Why, we are said to have one of his descendants 
among us — Sir William D'Avenant,' said Louis Kerne- 
guy; 'and many think him as clever a fellow.' 

'What!' exclaimed Sir Henry. 'Will D'Avenant, 
whom I knew in the North, an officer under Newcastle, 
when the Marquis lay before Hull? Why, he was an 
honest Cavalier, and wrote good doggerel enough; but 
how came he akin to Will Shakespeare, I trow? ' 

'Why,' replied the young Scot, 'by the surer side of 
the house, and after the old fashion, if D'Avenant speaks 
truth. It seems that his mother was a good-looking, 
laughing, buxom mistress of an inn between Stratford 


and London, at which Will Shakespeare often quartered 
as he went down to his native town, and that, out of 
friendship and gossipred, as we say in Scotland, Will 
Shakespeare became godfather to Will D'Avenant; and 
not contented with this spiritual affinity, the younger 
Will is for establishing some claim to a natural one, al- 
leging that his mother was a great admirer of wit, and 
there were no bounds to her complaisance for men of 

'Out upon the hound!' said Colonel Everard; 'would 
he purchase the reputation of descending from poet, or 
from prince, at the expense of his mother's good fame? 
His nose ought to be slit.' 

'That would be difficult,' answered the disguised 
prince, recollecting the peculiarity of the bard's coim- 

'Will D'Avenant the son of Will Shakespeare!' said 
the knight, who had not yet recovered his surprise at the 
enormity of the pretension; 'why, it reminds me of a 
verse in the puppet-show of " Phaeton," where the hero 
complains to his mother — 

Besides, by all the village boys I'm sham'd; 
You the Sun's son, you rascal, you be d — d! ' 

I never heard such unblushing assurance in my life! 
Will D'Avenant the son of the brightest and best poet 
that ever was, is, or will be! But I crave your pardon, 
nephew. You, I believe, love no stage plays.' 

'Nay, I am not altogether so precise as you would 

^ See Note 2. 

^ D'Avenantactually wanted the nose, the foundation of many a jest 
of the day. 
^ See Note 3. 



make me, uncle. I have loved them perhaps too well in 
my time, and now I condemn them not altogether, or in 
gross, though I approve not their excesses and extrava- 
gances. I cannot, even in Shakespeare, but see many 
things both scandalous to decency and prejudicial to 
good manners — many things which tend to ridicule 
virtue, or to recommend vice, at least to mitigate the 
hideousness of its features. I cannot think these fine 
poems are a useful study, and especially for the youth 
of either sex, in which bloodshed is pointed out as the 
chief occupation of the men, and intrigue as the sole em- 
ployment of the women.' 

In making these observations, Everard was simple 
enough to think that he was only giving his uncle an 
opportunity of defending a favourite opinion, without 
offending him by a contradiction which was so limited 
and mitigated. But here, as on other occasions, he for- 
got how obstinate his uncle was in his views, whether 
of religion, policy, or taste, and that it would be as easy 
to convert him to the Presbyterian form of government, 
or engage him to take the abjuration oath, as to shake 
his belief in Shakespeare. There was another peculiar- 
ity in the good knight's mode of arguing, which Everard, 
being himself of a plain and downright character, and 
one whose religious tenets were in some degree unfav- 
ourable to the suppressions and simulations often used 
in society, could never perfectly understand. Sir Henry, 
sensible of his natural heat of temper, was wont scrupu- 
lously to guard against it, and would for some time, 
when in fact much offended, conduct a debate with all 
the external appearance of composure, till the violence 
of his feehngs would rise so high as to overcome and 



bear away the artificial barriers opposed to it, and rush 
down upon the adversary with accumulating wrath. It 
thus frequently happened that, like a wily old general, 
he retreated in the face of his disputant in good order 
and by degrees, with so moderate a degree of resistance 
as to draw on his antagonist's pursuit to the spot where, 
at length, making a sudden and unexpected attack, with 
horse, foot, and artillery at once, he seldom failed to 
confound the enemy, though he might not overthrow 

It was on this principle, therefore, that, hearing 
Everard's last observation, he disguised his angry feel- 
ings, and answered, with a tone where politeness was 
called in to keep guard upon passion, ' That undoubtedly 
the Presbyterian gentry had given, through the whole 
of these unhappy times, such proofs of an humble, un- 
aspiring, and unambitious desire of the public good as 
entitled them to general credit for the sincerity of those 
very strong scruples which they entertained against 
works in which the noblest sentiments of religion and 
virtue — sentiments which might convert hardened sin- 
ners, and be placed with propriety in the mouths of 
dying saints and martyrs — happened, from the rude- 
ness and coarse taste of the times, to be mixed with 
some broad jests and similar matter, which lay not much 
in the way, excepting of those who painfully sought such 
stuff out, that they might use it in vilifying what was in 
itself deserving of the highest applause. But what he 
wished especially to know from his nephew was, whether 
any of those gifted men who had expelled the learned 
scholars and deep divines of the Church of England from 
the pulpit, and now flourished in their stead, received 



any inspiration from the muses, if he might use so 
profane a term without offence to Colonel Everard, or 
whether they were not as sottishly and brutally averse 
from elegant letters as they were from humanity and 
common sense? ' 

Colonel Everard might have guessed, by the ironical 
tone in which this speech was dehvered, what storm was 
mustering within his uncle's bosom — nay, he might 
have conjectured the state of the old knight's feelings 
from his emphasis on the word 'colonel,' by which epi- 
thet, as that which most connected his nephew with the 
party he hated, he never distinguished Everard unless 
when his wrath was rising; while, on the contrary, when 
disposed to be on good terms with him, he usually called 
him Kinsman, or Nephew Markham. Indeed, it was 
under a partial sense that this was the case, and in the 
hope to see his cousin Alice, that the colonel forbore 
making any answer to the harangue of his uncle, which 
had concluded just as the old knight had alighted at the 
door of the lodge, and was entering the hall, followed by 
his two attendants. 

Phoebe at the same time made her appearance in the 
hall, and received orders to bring some 'beverage' for 
the gentlemen. The Hebe of Woodstock failed not to 
recognise and welcome Everard by an almost imper- 
ceptible curtsy; but she did not serve his interest, as 
she designed, when she asked the knight, as a question 
of course, whether he commanded the attendance of 
Mistress Alice. A stern 'No,' was the decided reply; and 
the ill-timed interference seemed to increase his previous 
irritation against Everard for his depreciation of Shake- 
speare. *I would insist,' said Sir Henry, resuming the 



obnoxious subject, 'were it fit for a poor disbanded 
Cavalier to use such a phrase towards a commander of 
the conquering army, upon knowing whether the con- 
vulsion which has sent us saints and prophets without 
end has not also afforded us a poet with enough both of 
gifts and grace to outshine poor old Will, the oracle and 
idol of us blinded and carnal Cavaliers? ' 

'Surely, sir,' replied Colonel Everard, 'I know verses 
written by a friend of the Commonwealth, and those, 
too, of a dramatic character, which, weighed in an im- 
partial scale, might equal even the poetry of Shakespeare, 
and which are free from the fustian and indelicacy with 
which that great bard was sometimes content to feed the 
coarse appetites of his barbarous audience.' 

'Indeed!' said the km'ght, keeping down his wrath 
with difficulty. 'I should like to be acquainted with this 
masterpiece of poetry! May we ask the name of this 
distinguished person? ' 

'It must be Vicars or Withers at least,' said the 
feigned page. 

'No, sir,' replied Everard, 'nor Drummond of Haw- 
thornden, nor Lord Stirling neither. And yet the verses 
will vindicate what I say, if you will make allowance for 
indiiTerent recitation, for I am better accustomed to 
speak to a battalion than to those who love the muses. 
The speaker is a lady benighted, who, having lost her 
way in a pathless forest, at first expresses herself agi- 
tated by the supernatural fears to which her situation 
gave rise.' 

'A play, too, and written by a Roundhead author!' 
said Sir Henry in surprise. 

'A dramatic production at least,' replied his nephew; 


and began to recite simply, but with feeling, the lines 
now so well known, but which had then obtained no 
celebrity, the fame of the author resting upon the basis 
rather of his polemical and political publications than on 
the poetry doomed in after days to support the eternal 
structure of his immortality. 

* These thoughts may startle, but will not astound 
The virtuous mind, that ever walks attended 
By a strong siding champion, Conscience.' 

*My own opinion, nephew Markham — my own opin- 
ion,' said Sir Henry, with a burst of admiration — 'bet- 
ter expressed, but just what I said when the scoimdrelly 
Roundheads pretended to see ghosts at Woodstock. 
Goon, I prithee.' 

Everard proceeded : 

*0 welcome, pure-eyed Faith, white-handed Hope, 
Thou hovering angel, girt with golden wings, 
And thou unblemish'd form of Chastity! 
I see ye visibly, and now believe 
That he the Supreme Good, to whom all things ill 
Are but as slavish officers of vengeance, 
Would send a glistering guardian, if need were, 
To keep my life and honour unassail'd. 
Was I deceived, or did a sable cloud 
Turn forth her silver lining on the night? 

The rest has escaped me,' said the reciter; 'and I marvel 
I have been able to remember so much.' 

Sir Henry Lee, who had expected some effusion very 
different from those classical and beautiful lines, soon 
changed the scornful expression of his countenance, 
relaxed his contorted upper lips and, stroking down his 
beard with his left hand, rested the forefinger of the 



right upon his eyebrow, in sign of profound attention. 
After Everard had ceased speaking, the old man sighed 
as at the end of a strain of sweet music. He then spoke 
in a gentler manner than formerly. 

' Cousin Markham,' he said, * these verses flow sweetly, 
and sound in my ears like the well-touched warbHng of 
a lute. But thou knowest I am something slow of ap- 
prehending the full meaning of that which I hear for 
the first time. Repeat me these verses again, slowly 
and deUberately; for I always love to hear poetry, 
twice the first time for sound, and the latter time for 

Thus encouraged, Everard recited again the lines, 
with more hardihood and better effect; the knight dis- 
tinctly understanding, and, from his looks and mo- 
tions, highly applauding, them. 

* Yes,' he broke out, when Everard was again silent — 
*yes, I do call that poetry, though it were even written 
by a Presbyterian, or an Anabaptist either. Ay, there 
were good and righteous people to be found even 
amongst the offending towns which were destroyed by 
fire. And certainly I have heard, though with Httle 
credence — begging your pardon, cousin Everard — 
that there are men among you who have seen the error 
of their ways in rebelling against the best and kindest of 
masters, and bringing it to that pass that he was mur- 
dered by a gang yet fiercer than themselves. Ay, doubt- 
less the gentleness of spirit and the purity of mind which 
dictated those beautiful lines has long ago taught a man 
so amiable to say, "I have sinned — I have sinned." 
Yes, I doubt not so sweet a harp has been broken, even 
in remorse, for the crimes he was witness to; and now he 



sits drooping for the shame and sorrow of England, all 
his noble rhymes, as Will says, — 

Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh. 

Dost thou not think so, Master Kerneguy?' 

'Not I, Sir Henry,' answered the page, somewhat 

' What, dost not believe the author of these lines must 
needs be of the better file, and leaning to our persuasion? ' 

'I think. Sir Henrys that the poetry qualifies the 
author to write a play on the subject of Dame Potiphar 
and her recusant lover; and as for his calling — that last 
metaphor of the cloud in a black coat or cloak, with sil- 
ver lining, would have dubbed him a tailor with me, only 
that I happen to know that he is a schoolmaster by pro- 
fession, and by pohtical opinions qualified to be Poet 
Laureate to Cromwell; for what Colonel Everard has 
repeated with such unction is the production of no less 
celebrated a person than John Milton.' 

'John Milton! ' exclaimed Sir Henry, in astonishment. 
'What! John Milton, the blasphemous and bloody- 
minded author of the "Defensio Populi Anglicani!" — 
the advocate of the infernal High Court of Fiends! — 
the creature and parasite of that grand impostor, that 
loathsome h>-pocrite, that detestable monster, that 
prodigy of the universe, that disgrace of mankind, that 
landscape of iniquity, that sink of sin, and that compen- 
dium of baseness, Oliver Cromwell?' 

'Even the same John Milton,' answered Charles — 
'schoolmaster to little boys, and tailor to the clouds, 
which he furnishes with suits of black, lined with silver, 
at no other expense than that of common sense.' 



'Markham Everard/ said the old knight, 'I will never 
forgive thee — never — never. Thou hast made me 
speak words of praise respecting one whose offal should 
fatten the region-kites. Speak not to me, sir, but begone. 
Am I, your kinsman and benefactor, a fit person to be 
juggled out of my commendation and eulogy, and 
brought to bedaub such a whitened sepulchre as the 
sophist Milton?' 

*I profess,' said Everard, 'this is hard measure. Sir 
Henry. You pressed me — you defied me, to produce 
poetry as good as Shakespeare's. I only thought of the 
verses, not of the politics of Milton.' 

*0h yes, sir,' replied Sir Henry, 'we well know your 
power of making distinctions: you could make war 
against the King's prerogative, without having the least 
design against his person. Oh Heaven forbid! But 
Heaven will hear and judge you. Set down the beverage, 
Phoebe (this was added by way of parenthesis to Phoebe, 
who entered with refreshment). Colonel Everard is not 
thirsty. You have wiped your mouths, and said you 
have done no evil. But though you have deceived man, 
yet God you cannot deceive. And you shall wipe no 
lips in Woodstock, either after meat or drink, I promise 

Charged thus at once with the faults imputed to his 
whole religious sect and political party, Everard felt too 
late of what imprudence he had been guilty in giving 
the opening, by disputing his uncle's taste in dramatic 
poetry. He endeavoured to explain, to apologise. 

'I mistook your purpose, honoured sir, and thought 
you really desired to know something of our literature; 
and in repeating what you deemed not unworthy your 



hearing, I profess I thought I was doing you pleasure, 
instead of stirring your indignation.' 

*0 ay!' returned the knight, with unmitigated rigour 
of resentment — 'profess — profess. Ay, that is the 
new phrase of asseveration, instead of the profane ad- 
juration of courtiers and Cavaliers. Oh, sir, profess less 
and practise more, and so good-day to you. Master 
Kemeguy, you will find beverage in my apartment.' 

While Phoebe stood gaping in admiration at the sud- 
den quarrel which had arisen. Colonel Everard's vexa- 
tion and resentment was not a little increased by the 
nonchalance of the young Scotsman, who, with his hands 
thrust into his pockets with a courtly affectation of the 
time, had thrown himself into one of the antique chairs, 
and, though habitually too polite to laugh aloud, and 
possessing that art of internal laughter by which men 
of the world learn to indulge their mirth without incur- 
ring quarrels or giving direct ofifence, was at no particu- 
lar trouble to conceal that he was exceedingly amused 
by the result of the colonel's visit to Woodstock. Colonel 
Everard's patience, however, had reached bounds which 
it was very likely to surpass; for, though differing widely 
in politics, there was a resemblance betwixt the temper 
of the uncle and nephew. 

'Damnation! ' exclaimed the colonel, in a tone which 
became a Puritan as little as did the exclamation itself. 

'Amen!' said Louis Kerneguy, but in a tone so soft 
and gentle, that the ejaculation seemed rather to escape 
him than to be designedly uttered. 

'Sir!' said Everard, striding towards him in that sort 
of humour when a man, full of resentment, would not 
unwillingly find an object on which to discharge it. 



*Plait-il?^ said the page, in the most equable tone, 
looking up in his face with the most unconscious inno- 

'I wish to know, sir,' retorted Everard, ' the meaning 
of that which you said just now ? ' 

'Only a pouring out of the spirit, worthy sir, ' returned 
Kerneguy — * a small skiff despatched to Heaven on 
my own accoimt to keep company with your holy 
petition Just now expressed.' 

'Sir, I have known a merry gentleman's bones 
broke for such a smile as you wear just now,' replied 

* There, look you now ! ' answered the malicious page, 
who could not weigh even the thoughts of his safety 
against the enjoyment of his jest. ' If you had stuck to 
your professions, worthy sir, you must have choked by 
this time; but your round execration bolted like a cork 
from a bottle of cider, and now allows your wrath to 
come foaming out after it, in the honest unbaptized 
language of common ruffians.' 

'For Heaven's sake. Master Girnigy,' said Phoebe, 
'forbear giving the colonel these bitter words! And do 
you, good Colonel Markham, scorn to take offence at 
his hands — he is but a boy.' 

*If the colonel or you choose, Mistress Phoebe, you 
shall find me a man; I think the gentleman can say 
something to the purpose already. Probably he may 
recommend to you the part of the Lady in " Comus "; 
and I only hope his own admiration of John Milton will 
not induce him to undertake the part of Samson Agon- 
istes, and blow up this old house with execrations, or 
pull it down in wrath about our ears.' 



'Young man,' said the colonel, still in towering pas- 
sion, 'if you respect my principles for nothing else, be 
grateful to the protection which, but for them, you 
would not easily attain.' 

'Nay, then,' said the attendant, 'I must fetch those 
who have more influence wdth you than I have,' and 
away tripped Phoebe ; while Kerneguy answered Ever- 
ard in the same provoking tone of calm indifference — 

'Before you menace me with a thing so formidable as 
your resentment, you ought to be certain whether I may 
not be compelled by circumstances to deny you the 
opportunity you seem to point at.' 

At this moment Ahce, summoned no doubt by her 
attendant, entered the hall hastily. 

'Master Kerneguy,' she said, 'my father requests to 
see you in Victor Lee's apartment.' 

Kerneguy arose and bowed, but seemed determined to 
remain till Everard's departure, so as to prevent any 
explanation betwixt the cousins. 

'Markham,' said Alice, hurriedly — 'cousin Everard 

— I have but a moment to remain here — for God's 
sake, do you instantly begone! Be cautious and patient 

— but do not tarry here — my father is fearfully 

'I have had my uncle's word for that, madam,' replied 
Everard, 'as well as his injunction to depart, which I 
will obey without delay. I was not aware that you 
would have seconded so harsh an order quite so will- 
ingly; but I go, madam, sensible I leave those behind 
whose company is more agreeable.' 

'Unjust — ungenerous — ungrateful!' said Alice; but 
fearful her words might reach ears for which they were 



not designed, she spoke them in a voice so feeble, that 
her cousin, for whom they were intended, lost the con- 
solation they were calculated to convey. 

He bowed coldly to Alice, as taking leave, and said 
with an air of that constrained courtesy which some- 
times covers among men of condition the most deadly 
hatred, * I believe. Master Kerneguy, that I must make 
it convenient at present to suppress my own peculiar 
opinions on the matter which we have hinted at in our 
conversation, in which case I will send a gentleman, who, 
I hope, may be able to conquer yours.' 

The supposed Scotsman made him a stately, and at 
the same time a condescending, bow, said he should 
expect the honour of his commands, offered his hand to 
Mistress Alice, to conduct her back to her father's 
apartment, and took a triumphant leave of his rival. 

Everard, on the other hand, stung beyond his pa- 
tience, and, from the grace and composed assurance of 
the youth's carriage, still conceiving him to be either 
Wilmot or some of his compeers in rank and profligacy, 
returned to the town of Woodstock, determined not to 
be outbearded, even though he should seek redress by 
means which his principles forbade him to consider as 


Boundless intemperance 
In nature is a tyranny; it hath been 
The untimely emptying of the happy throne, 
And fall of many kings. 


While Colonel Everard retreated in high indignation 
from the little refection which Sir Henry Lee had in his 
good-humour offered, and withdrawn under the circum- 
stances of provocation which we have detailed, the good 
old knight, scarce recovered from his fit of passion, par- 
took of it with his daughter and guest, and shortly after, 
recollecting some silvan task (for, though to little effi- 
cient purpose, he still regularly attended to his duties as 
ranger), he called Bevis, and went out, leaving the two 
young people together. 

*Now,' said the amorous prince to himself, 'that Alice 
is left without her lion, it remains to see whether she is 
herself of a tigress breed. So, Sir Bevis has left his 
charge,' he said aloud; 'I thought the knights of old, 
those stern guardians of which he is so fit a representa- 
tive, were more rigorous in maintaining a vigilant guard.' 

'Bevis,' said Alice, 'knows that his attendance on me 
is totally needless; and, moreover, he has other duties to 
perform, which every true knight prefers to dangling the 
whole morning by a lady's sleeve.' 

'You speak treason against all true affection,' said the 
gallant: 'a lady's lightest wish should to a true knight 
be more binding than aught excepting the summons of 

38 145 


his sovereign. I wish, Mistress Alice, you would but 
intimate your slightest desire to me, and you should see 
how I have practised obedience.' 

'You never brought me word what o'clock it was this 
morning,' replied the young lady, 'and there I sate 
questioning of the wings of Time, when I should have 
remembered that gentlemen's gallantry can be quite as 
fugitive as Time himself. How do you know what your 
disobedience may have cost me and others? Pudding 
and pasty may have been burned to a cinder, for, sir, I 
practise the old domestic rule of visiting the kitchen; or 
I may have missed prayers, or I may have been too late 
for an appointment, simply by the negligence of Master 
Louis Kerneguy failing to let me know the hour of the 

'O,' repHed Kerneguy, 'I am one of those lovers who 
cannot endure absence. I must be eternally at the feet 
of my fair enemy — such, I think, is the title with which 
romances teach us to grace the fair and cruel to whom 
we devote our hearts and hves. Speak for me, good 
lute,' he added, taking up the instrument, 'and show 
whether I know not my duty.' 

He sung, but with more taste than execution, the air 
of a French rondelai, to which some of the wits or son- 
neteers in his gay and roving train had adapted English 

An hour with thee! When earliest day 
Dapples with gold the eastern grey, 
Oh, what can frame my mind to bear 
The toil and turmoil, cark and care, 
New griefs which coming hours unfold, 
And sad remembrance of the old? 

One hour with thee. 



One hour with thee! When burning June 
Waves his red flag at pitch of noon; 
What shall repay the faithful swain 
His labour on the sultry plain, 
And more than cave or sheltering bough, 
Cool feverish blood, and throbbing brow? 

One hour with thee. 

One hour with thee! When sun is set, 

O, what can teach me to forget 

The thankless labours of the day, 

The hopes, the wishes, flung away. 

The increasing wants, and lessening gains, 

The master's pride, who scorns my pains? 

One hour with thee. 

'Truly, there is another verse,' said the songster; 'but 
I sing it not to you, Mistress Alice, because some of the 
prudes of the court Uked it not.' 

*I thank you, Master Louis,' answered the young 
lady, ' both for your discretion in singing what has given 
me pleasure and in forbearing what might offend me. 
Though a country girl, I pretend to be so far of the court 
mode as to receive nothing which does not pass current 
among the better class there.' 

* I would,' answered Louis, ' that you were so well con- 
firmed in their creed as to let all pass with you to which 
court ladies would give currency.' 

*And what would be the consequence?' said Alice, 
with perfect composure. 

'In that case,' said Louis, embarrassed like a general 
who finds that his preparations for attack do not seem to 
strike either fear or confusion into the enemy — 'in that 
case you would forgive me, fair Alice, if I spoke to you in 
a warmer language than that of mere gallantry — if I 
told you how much my heart was interested in what you 



consider as idle jesting — if I seriously owned it was in 
your power to make me the happiest or the most miser- 
able of human beings.' 

'Master Kerneguy/ said Alice, with the same un- 
shaken nonchalance, 'let us understand each other. I 
am Httle acquainted with high-bred manners, and I am 
unwilling, I tell you plainly, to be accounted a silly 
country girl, who, either from ignorance or conceit, is 
startled at every word of gallantry addressed to her by 
a young man, who, for the present, has nothing better 
to do than coin and circulate such false compliments. 
But I must not let this fear of seeming rustic and awk- 
wardly timorous carry me too far ; and being igno- 
rant of the exact limits, I will take care to stop within 

*I trust, madam,' said Kerneguy, 'that, however 
severely you may be disposed to judge of me, your just- 
ice will not punish me too severely for an offence of 
which your charms are alone the occasion?' 

'Hear me out, sir, if you please,' resumed Alice. 'I 
have listened to you when you spoke en herger — nay, 
my complaisance has been so great as to answer you 
en hergere — for I do not think anything except ridicule 
can come of dialogues between Lindor and Jeanneton; 
and the principal fault of the style is its extreme and 
tiresome silliness and affectation. But when you begin 
to kneel, offer to take my hand, and speak with a more 
serious tone, I must remind you of our real characters. I 
am the daughter of Sir Henry Lee, sir; and you are, or 
profess to be. Master Louis Kerneguy, my brother's 
page, and a fugitive for shelter under my father's roof, 
who incurs danger by the harbour he affords you, and 



whose household, therefore, ought not to be disturbed 
by your unpleasing importunities.' 

'I would to Heaven, fair Alice,' said the King, 'that 
your objections to the suit which I am urging, not in 
jest, but most seriously, as that on which my happiness 
depends, rested only on the low and precarious station 
of Louis Kerneguy ! Alice, thou hast the soul of thy fam- 
ily, and must needs love honour. I am no more the needy 
Scotch page whom I have, for my own purposes, per- 
sonated than I am the awkward lout whose manners I 
adopted on the first night of our acquaintance. This 
hand, poor as I seem, can confer a coronet.' 

'Keep it,' said Alice, 'for some more ambitious dam- 
sel, my lord — for such I conclude is your title, if this 
romance be true — I would not accept your hand could 
you confer a duchy.' 

'In one sense, lovely Alice, you have neither over- 
rated my power nor my affection. It is your king — it 
is Charles Stuart who speaks to you! He can confer 
duchies, and if beauty can merit them, it is that of Alice 
Lee. Nay — nay, rise — do not kneel; it is for your 
sovereign to kneel to thee, Alice, to whom he is a thou- 
sand times more devoted than the wanderer Louis 
dared venture to profess himself. My AKce has, I know, 
been trained up in those principles of love and obedience 
to her sovereign, that she cannot, in conscience or in 
mercy, inflict on him such a wound as would be implied 
in the rejection of his suit.' 

In spite of all Charles's attempts to prevent her, Alice 
had persevered in kneeling on one knee, until she had 
touched with her lip the hand with which he attempted 
to raise her. But this salutation ended, she stood up- 



right, with her arms folded on her bosom, her looks 
humble, but composed, keen and watchful, and so pos- 
sessed of herself, so little flattered by the communica- 
tion which the King had supposed would have been 
overpowering, that he scarce knew in what terms next 
to urge his solicitation. 

' Thou art silent — thou art silent,' he said, 'my pretty 
Alice. Has the king no more influence with thee than 
the poor Scottish page?' 

'In one sense, every influence,' said Alice; 'for he 
commands my best thoughts, my best wishes, my ear- 
nest prayers, my devoted loyalty, which, as the men of 
the house of Lee have been ever ready to testify with the 
sword, so are the women bound to seal, if necessary, with 
their blood. But beyond the duties of a true and devoted 
subject, the king is even less to Alice Lee than poor Louis 
Kerneguy. The page could have tendered an honour- 
able union; the monarch can but offer a contaminated 

'You mistake, Alice — you mistake,' said the King, 
eagerly. ' Sit down and let me speak to you — sit down. 
What is 't you fear ? ' 

'I fear nothing, my Hege,' said Alice. 'What can I 
fear from the king of Britain — I, the daughter of his 
loyal subject, and under my father's roof ? But I remem- 
ber the distance betwixt us, and though I might trifle 
and jest with mine equal, to my king I must only appear 
in the dutiful posture of a subject, unless where his 
safety may seem to require that I do not acknowledge 
his dignity.' 

Charles, though young, being no novice in such scenes, 
was surprised to encounter resistance of a kind which 



had not been opposed to him in similar pursuits, even 
in cases where he had been unsuccessful. There was 
neither anger, nor injured pride, nor disorder, nor dis- 
dain, real or affected, in the manners and conduct of 
Alice. She stood, as it seemed, calmly prepared to argue 
on the subject which is generally decided by passion — 
showed no inchnation to escape from the apartment, but 
appeared determined to hear with patience the suit of 
the lover, while her countenance and manner intimated 
that she had this complaisance only in deference to the 
commands of the king. 

'She is ambitious,' thought Charles: 'it is by dazzling 
her love of glory, not by mere passionate entreaties, that 
I must hope to be successful. I pray you be seated, my 
fair Alice,' he said, 'the lover entreats — the king com- 
mands you.' 

'The king,' said Alice, 'may permit the relaxation of 
the ceremonies due to royalty, but he cannot abrogate 
the subject's duty, even by express command. I stand 
here while it is your Majesty's pleasure to address me, 
a patient Ustener, as in duty bound.' 

'Know then, simple girl,' said the King, 'that, in ac- 
cepting my proffered affection and protection, you break 
through no law, either of virtue or morality. Those who 
are born to royalty are deprived of many of the com- 
forts of private life — chiefly that which is, perhaps, the 
dearest and most precious, the power of choosing their 
own mates for life. Their formal weddings are guided 
upon principles of political expedience only, and those 
to whom they are wedded are frequently, in temper, 
person, and disposition, the most unlikely to make them 
happy. Society has commiseration, therefore, towards 


us, and binds our unwilling and often unhappy wedlocks 
with chains of a lighter and more easy character than 
those which fetter other men, whose marriage ties, as 
more voluntarily assumed, ought, in proportion, to be 
more strictly binding. And therefore, ever since the 
time that old Henry built these walls, priests and pre- 
lates, as well as nobles and statesmen, have been accus- 
tomed to see a Fair Rosamond rule the heart of an af- 
fectionate monarch, and console him for the few hours 
of constraint and state which he must bestow upon some 
angry and jealous Eleanor. To such a connexion the 
world attaches no blame: they rush to the festival to ad- 
mire the beauty of the lovely Esther, while the imperi- 
ous Vashti is left to queen it in solitude; they throng the 
palace to ask her protection, whose influence is more in 
the state an hundred times than that of the proud con- 
sort; her offspring rank with the nobles of the land, and 
vindicate by their courage, like the celebrated Long- 
sword, Earl of Salisbury, their descent from royalty and 
from love. From such connexions our richest ranks of 
nobles are recruited ; and the mother lives, in the great- 
ness of her posterity, honoured and blessed, as she died 
lamented and wept in the arms of love and friendship.' 

'Did Rosamond so die, my lord?' said Alice. 'Our 
records say she was poisoned by the injured queen — 
poisoned, without time allowed to call to God for the 
pardon of her many faults. Did her memory so live? I 
have heard that, when the bishop purified the church at 
Godstowe, her monument was broken open by his orders, 
and her bones thrown out into unconsecrated ground.' 

'Those were rude old days, sweet Alice,' answered 
Charles: 'queens are not now so jealous, nor bishops so 



rigorous. And know, besides, that, in the lands to which 
I would lead the loveHest of her sex, other laws obtain, 
which remove from such ties even the slightest show of 
scandal. There is a mode of matrimony which, fulfilling 
all the rites of the church, leaves no stain on the con- 
science; yet, investing the bride with none of the priv- 
ileges peculiar to her husband's condition, infringes not 
upon the duties which the king owes to his subjects. So 
that Alice Lee may, in all respects, become the real and 
lawful wife of Charles Stuart, except that their pri- 
vate union gives her no title to be Queen of England.' 

*My ambition,' said Alice, 'will be sufficiently grati- 
fied to see Charles king, without aiming to share either 
his dignity in public or his wealth and regal luxury in 

*I understand thee, Alice,' said the King, hurt, but 
not displeased. 'You ridicule me, being a fugitive, for 
speaking like a king. It is a habit, I admit, which I have 
learned, and of which even misfortune cannot cure me. 
But my case is not so desperate as you may suppose. 
My friends are still many in these kingdoms; my allies 
abroad are bound, by regard to their own interest, to 
espouse my cause. I have hopes given me from Spain, 
from France, and from other nations; and I have con- 
fidence that my father's blood has not been poured forth 
in vain, nor is doomed to dry up without due vengeance. 
My trust is in Him from whom princes derive their title, 
and, think what thou wilt of my present condition, I 
have perfect confidence that I shall one day sit on the 
throne of England.' 

'May God grant it!' said Alice, 'and that He may 
grant it, noble prince, deign to consider whether you now 



pursue a conduct likely to conciliate His favour. Think 
of the course you recommend to a motherless maiden, 
who has no better defence against your sophistry than 
what a sense of morality, together with the natural feel- 
ing of female dignity, inspires. Whether the death of her 
father, which would be the consequence of her impru- 
dence, whether the despair of her brother, whose life 
has been so often in peril to save that of your Majesty, 
whether the dishonour of the roof which has sheltered 
you, will read well in your annals, or are events likely to 
propitiate God, whose controversy with your house has 
been but too visible, or recover the affections of the peo- 
ple of England, in whose eyes such actions are an abom- 
ination, I leave to your own royal mind to consider.' 

Charles paused, struck with a turn to the conversa- 
tion which placed his own interests more in collision with 
the gratification of his present passion than he had sup- 

'If your Majesty,' said Alice, curtsying deeply, 'has 
no further commands for my attendance, may I be per- 
mitted to withdraw ? ' 

'Stay yet a little, strange and impracticable girl,' 
said the King, 'and answer me but one question. Is it 
the lowness of my present fortunes that makes my suit 

*I have nothing to conceal, my liege,' she said, 'and 
my answer shall be as plain and direct as the question 
you have asked. If I could have been moved to an act 
of ignominious, insane, and ungrateful folly, it could only 
arise from my being blinded by that passion which I 
believe is pleaded as an excuse for folly and for crime 
much more often than it has a real existence. I must, in 



short, have been in love, as it is called; and that might 
have been with my equal, but surely never with my sov- 
ereign,whether such only in title or in possession of his 

'Yet loyalty was ever the pride, almost the ruling 
passion, of your family, Alice,' said the King. 

'And could I reconcile that loyalty,' said Alice, 'with 
indulging my sovereign, by permitting him to prosecute 
a suit dishonourable to himself as to me? Ought I, as a 
faithful subject, to join him in a folly which might throw 
yet another stumbhng-block in the path to his restora- 
tion, and could only serve to diminish his security, even 
if he were seated upon his throne?' 

'At this rate,' said Charles, discontentedly, 'I had 
better have retained my character of the page than as- 
sumed that of a sovereign, which it seems is still more 
irreconcilable with my wishes.' 

'My candour shall go still further,' said Alice. 'I 
could have felt as little for Louis Kerneguy as for the 
heir of Britain; for such love as I have to bestow — and 
it is not such as I read of in romance, or hear poured 
forth in song — has been already conferred on another 
object. This gives your Majesty pain; I am sorry for 
it, but the wholesomest medicines are often bitter.' 

'Yes,' answered the King, with some asperity, 'and 
physicians are reasonable enough to expect their pa- 
tients to swallow them as if they were honeycomb. It 
is true, then, that whispered tale of the cousin colonel; 
and the daughter of the loyal Lee has set her heart upon 
a rebellious fanatic?' 

'My love was given ere I knew what these words 
"fanatic" and "rebel" meant. I recalled it not, for I 



am satisfied that, amidst the great distractions which 
divide the kingdom, the person to whom you allude has 
chosen his part, erroneously perhaps, but conscientiously ; 
he, therefore, has still the highest place in my affection 
and esteem. More he cannot have, and will not ask, un- 
til some happy turn shall reconcile these public differ- 
ences, and my father be once more reconciled to him. 
Devoutly do I pray that such an event may occur by 
your Majesty's speedy and unanimous restoration ! ' 

'You have found out a reason,' said the King, pet- 
tishly, ' to make me detest the thought of such a change; 
nor have you, Alice, any sincere interest to pray for it. 
On the contrary, do you not see that your lover, walking 
side by side with Cromwell, may, or rather must, share 
his power? nay, if Lambert does not anticipate him, he 
may trip up Oliver's heels and reign in his stead. And 
think you not he will find means to overcome the pride 
of the loyal Lees, and achieve an union for which things 
are better prepared than that which Cromwell is said 
to meditate betwixt one of his brats and the no less loyal 
heir of Fauconberg? ' 

'Your Majesty,' said Alice, 'has foimd a way at 
length to avenge yourself — if what I have said deserves 

'I could point out a yet shorter road to your union,' 
said Charles, without minding her distress, or perhaps 
enjoying the pleasure of retahation. 'Suppose that you 
sent your colonel word that there was one Charles 
Stuart here, who had come to disturb the saints in 
their peaceful government, which they had acquired by 
prayer and preaching, pike and gun ; and suppose he had 
the art to bring down a half-score of troopers — quite 



enough, as times go, to decide the fate of this heir of 
royalty — think you not the possession of such a prize 
as this might obtain from the Rumpers, or from Crom- 
well, such a reward as might overcome your father's ob- 
jections to a Roundhead's alliance, and place the fair 
Alice and her cousin colonel in full possession of their 
wishes? ' 

*My Uege,' said Alice, her cheeks glowing and her eyes 
sparkling, for she too had her share of the hereditary 
temperament of her family, ' this passes my patience. I 
have heard, without expressing anger, the most igno- 
minious persuasions addressed to myself, and I have 
vindicated myself for refusing to be the paramour of a 
fugitive prince, as if I had been excusing myself from 
accepting a share of an actual crown. But do you think 
I can hear all who are dear to me slandered without 
emotion or reply? I will not, sir; and were you seated 
with all the terrors of your father's Star Chamber around 
you, you should hear me defend the absent and the inno- 
cent. Of my father I will say nothing, but that, if he is 
now without wealth, without state, almost without a 
sheltering home and needful food, it is because he spent 
all in the service of the King. He needed not to commit 
any act of treachery or villainy to obtain wealth: he had 
an ample competence in his own possessions. For Mark- 
ham Everard — he knows no such thing as selfishness: 
he would not for broad England, had she the treasures of 
Peru in her bosom, and a paradise on her surface, do a 
deed that would disgrace his own name or injure the 
feelings of another. Kings, my liege, may take a lesson 
from him. My liege, for the present, I take my leave.' 

'Alice — Alice, stay!' exclaimed the King. 'She is 



gone. This must be virtue — real, disinterested, over- 
awing virtue — or there is no such thing on earth. Yet 
Wilmot and Villiers will not believe a word of it, but add 
the tale to the other wonders of Woodstock. 'T is a rare 
wench! and I profess, to use the colonel's obtestation, 
that I know not whether to forgive and be friends with 
her or study a dire revenge. If it were not for that ac- 
cursed cousin — that Puritan colonel, I could forgive 
everything else to so noble a wench. But a Roundheaded 
rebel preferred to me, the preference avowed to my face, 
and justified with the assertion that a king might take a 
lesson from him — it is gall and wormwood. If the old 
man had not come up this morning as he did, the King 
should have taken or given a lesson, and a severe one. 
It was a mad rencontre to venture upon with my rank 
and responsibiHty; and yet this wench has made me so 
angry with her, and so envious of him, that, if an oppor- 
tunity offered, I should scarce be able to forbear him. 
Ha ! whom have we here? ' 

The interjection at the conclusion of this royal solilo- 
quy was occasioned by the unexpected entrance of an- 
other personage of the drama. 


Benedick. Shall I speak a word in your ear ? 
Claudio. God bless me from a challenge I 

Much Ado about Nothing. 

As Charles was about to leave the apartment, he was 
prevented by the appearance of Wildrake, who entered 
with an unusual degree of swagger in his gait, and of 
fantastic importance on his brow. * I crave your pardon, 
fair sir,' he said; 'but as they say in my country, when 
doors are open dogs enter. I have knocked and called 
in the hall to no purpose; so, knowing the way to this 
parlour, sir — for I am a light partizan, and the road 
I once travel I never forget — I ventured to present 
myself unannounced.' 

*Sir Henry Lee is abroad, sir, I believe, in the chase,' 
said Charles, coldly, for the appearance of this somewhat 
vulgar debauchee was not agreeable to him at the mo- 
ment, 'and Master Albert Lee has left the lodge for two 
or three days.' 

*I am aware of it, sir,' said Wildrake; 'but I have no 
business at present with either.' 

'And with whom is your business?' said Charles; 
*that is, if I may be permitted to ask, since I think it 
cannot in possibility be with me.' 

'Pardon me in turn, sir,' answered the Cavalier; 'in 
no possibility can it be imparted to any other but your- 
self, if you be, as I think you are, though in something 



better habit, Master Louis Girnigo, the Scottish gentle- 
man who waits upon Master Albert Lee.' 

* I am all you are Uke to find for him,' answered Charles. 

'In truth,' said the Cavalier, *I do perceive a differ- 
ence, but rest and better clothing will do much; and I 
am glad of it, since I would be sorry to have brought a 
message such as I am charged with to a tatterdemalion.' 

'Let us get to the business, sir, if you please,' said the 
King; 'you have a message for me, you say?' 

'True, sir,' replied Wildrake; 'I am the friend of 
Colonel Markham Everard, sir, a tall man, and a worthy 
person in the field, although I could wish him a better 
cause. A message I have to you, it is certain, in a slight 
note, which I take the Hberty of presenting with the 
usual formahties.' So saying, he drew his sword, put the 
billet he mentioned upon the point, and, making a pro- 
found bow, presented it to Charles. 

The disguised monarch accepted of it with a grave re- 
turn of the salute, and said, as he was about to open the 
letter, ' I am not, I presume, to expect friendly contents 
in an epistle presented in so hostile a manner? ' 

'A-hem, sir,' replied the ambassador, clearing his 
voice, while he arranged a suitable answer, in which the 
mild strain of diplomacy might be properly maintained ; 
'not utterly hostile, I suppose, sir, is the invitation, 
though it be such as must be construed in the commence- 
ment rather bellicose and pugnacious. I trust, sir, we 
shall find that a few thrusts will make a handsome con- 
clusion of the business; and so, as my old master used to 
say, Pax nascitur ex hello. For my own poor share, I am 
truly glad to have been graced by my friend Markham 
Everard in this matter, the rather as I feared the Puri- 



tan principles with which he is imbued — I will confess 
the truth to you, worthy sir — might have rendered him 
unwilling, from certain scruples, to have taken the gen- 
tlemanlike and honourable mode of righting himself in 
such a case as the present. And as I render a friend's 
duty to my friend, so I humbly hope, Master Louis Gir- 
nigo, that I do no injustice to you, in preparing the way 
for the proposed meeting, where, give me leave to say, 
I trust that, if no fatal accident occur, we shall be all 
better friends when the skirmish is over than we were 
before it began.' 

*I should suppose so, sir, in any case,' said Charles, 
looking at the letter; 'worse than mortal enemies we can 
scarce be, and it is that footing upon which this billet 
places us.' 

'You say true, sir,' said Wildrake; 'it is, sir, a cartel 
introducing to a single combat, for the pacific object of 
restoring a perfect good understanding betwixt the sur- 
vivors — in case that fortunately that word can be 
used in the plural after the event of the meeting.' 

'In short, we only fight, I suppose,' repHed the King, 
'that we may come to a perfectly good and amicable 
understanding? ' 

'You are right again, sir, and I thank you for the 
clearness of your apprehension,' said Wildrake. 'Ah, 
sir, it is easy to do with a person of honour and of intel- 
lect in such a case as this. And I beseech you, sir, as a 
personal kindness to myself, that, as the morning is Hke 
to be frosty, and myself am in some sort rheumatic, as 
war will leave its scars behind, sir — I say, I will entreat 
of you to bring with you some gentleman of honour, who 
will not disdain to take part of what is going forward — 
38 i6i 


a sort of pot-luck, sir — with a poor old soldier like 
myself, that we may take no harm by standing unoccu- 
pied during such cold weather.' 

'I understand, sir,' replied Charles; *if this matter 
goes forward, be assured I will endeavour to provide 
you with a suitable opponent.' 

* I shall remain greatly indebted to you, sir,' said Wild- 
rake; 'and I am by no means curious about the quaHty 
of my antagonist. It is true I write myself esquire 
and gentleman, and should account myself especially 
honoured by crossing my sword with that of Sir Henry 
or Master Albert Lee; but should that not be convenient, 
I will not refuse to present my poor person in opposition 
to any gentleman who has served the King, which I al- 
ways hold as a sort of letters of nobility in itself, and, 
therefore, would on no account decline the duello with 
such a person.' 

'The King is much obliged to you, sir,' said Charles, 
'for the honour you do his faithful subjects.' 

* O, sir, I am scrupulous on that point — very scrupu- 
lous. When there is a Roundhead in question, I consult 
the herald's books, to see that he is entitled to bear arms, 
as is Master Markham Everard, without which, I pro- 
mise you, I had borne none of his cartel. But a Cavalier 
is with me a gentleman of course. Be his birth ever so 
low, his loyalty has ennobled his condition.' 

'It is well, sir,' said the King. 'This paper requests 
me to meet Master Everard at six to-morrow morning, 
at the tree called the King's Oak. I object neither to 
place nor time. He proffers the sword, at which, he 
says, we possess some equality. I do not decHne the 
weapon. For company, two gentlemen. I shall en- 



deavour to procure myself an associate, and a suit- 
able partner for you, sir, if you incline to join in the 

' I kiss your hand, sir, and rest yours, under a sense of 
obligation,' answered the envoy. 

'I thank you, sir,' continued the King; 'I will there- 
fore be ready at place and time, and suitably furnished; 
and I will either give your friend such satisfaction with 
my sword as he requires, or will render him such cause 
for not doing so as he will be contented with.' 

'You will excuse me, sir,' said Wildrake, *if my mind 
is too dull, under the circumstances, to conceive any 
alternative that can remain betwixt two men of honour 
in such a case, excepting — sa — sa — ! ' He threw him- 
self into a fencing position, and made a pass with his 
sheathed rapier, but not directed towards the person of 
the King, whom he addressed. 

'Excuse me, sir,' said Charles, 'if I do not trouble 
your intellects with the consideration of a case which 
may not occur. But, for example, I may plead urgent 
employment on the part of the public' This he spoke in 
a low and mysterious tone of voice, which Wildrake ap- 
peared perfectly to comprehend ; for he laid his forefinger 
on his nose with what he meant for a very intelligent 
and apprehensive nod. 

'Sir,' said he, 'if you be engaged in any affair for the 
King, my friend shall have every reasonable degree of 
patience. Nay, I will fight him myself in your stead, 
merely to stay his stomach, rather than you should be 
interrupted. And, sir, if you can find room in your en- 
terprise for a poor gentleman that has followed Lunsford 
and Goring, you have but to name day, time, and place 



of rendezvous; for truly, sir, I am tired of the scald hat, 
cropped hair, and undertaker's cloak with which my 
friend has bedizened me, and would willingly rufifle it 
out once more in the King's cause, when whether I be 
banged or hanged, I care not.' 

' I shall remember what you say, sir, should an oppor- 
tunity occur,' said the King; 'and I wish his Majesty 
had many such subjects. I presume our business is now 

'When you shall have been pleased, sir, to give me a 
trifling scrap of writing, to serve for my credentials; for 
such, you know, is the custom : your written cartel hath 
its written answer.' 

'That, sir, will I presently do,' said Charles, 'and in 
good time; here are the materials.' 

'And, sir,' continued the envoy — 'ahi! — ahem! — 
if you have interest in the household for a cup of sack. I 
am a man of few words, and am somewhat hoarse with 
much speaking; moreover, serious business of this kind 
always makes one thirsty. Besides, sir, to part with dry 
lips argues malice, which God forbid should exist in 
such an honourable conjuncture.' 

'I do not boast much influence in the house, sir,' 
said the King; 'but if you would have the condescen- 
sion to accept of this broad piece towards quenching 
your thirst at the George — ' 

'Sir,' said the Cavalier, for the times admitted of this 
strange species of courtesy, nor was Wildrake a man of 
such pecuHar delicacy as keenly to dispute the matter, 
'I am once again beholden to you. But I see not how 
it consists with my honour to accept of such accommo- 
dation, unless you were to accompany and partake? ' 



'Pardon me, sir,' replied Charles, 'my safety recom- 
mends that I remain rather private at present.' 

'Enough said,' Wildrake observed; 'poor Cavaliers 
must not stand on ceremony. I see, sir, you understand 
cutter's law: when one tall fellow has coin, another must 
not be thirsty. I wish you, sir, a continuance of health 
and happiness until to-morrow, at the King's Oak, at 
six o'clock.' 

'Farewell, sir,' said the King; and added, as Wild- 
rake went down the stair whistling 'Hey for cavaliers,' 
to which air his long rapier, jarring against the steps 
and banisters, bore no unsuitable burden — ' Farewell, 
thou too just emblem of the state to which war, and de- 
feat, and despair have reduced many a gallant gentle- 

During the rest of the day there occurred nothing 
peculiarly deserving of notice. Alice avoided sedulously 
showing towards the disguised prince any degree of es- 
trangement or shyness, which could be discovered by 
her father or by any one else. To all appearance, the 
two young persons continued on the same footing in 
every respect. Yet she made the gallant himself sensible 
that this apparent intimacy was assumed merely to 
save appearances, and in no way designed as retracting 
from the severity with which she had rejected his suit. 
The sense that this was the case, joined to his injured 
self-love and his enmity against a successful rival, in- 
duced Charles early to withdraw himself to a solitary 
walk in the wilderness, where, like Hercules in the Em- 
blem of Cebes, divided betwixt the personifications of 
Virtue and of Pleasure, he Hstened alternately to the 
voice of Wisdom and of passionate Folly. 



Prudence urged to him the importance of his own life 
to the future prosecution of the great object in which 
he had for the present miscarried — the restoration of 
monarchy in England, the rebuilding of the throne, the 
regaining the crown of his father, the avenging his death, 
and restoring to their fortunes and their country the 
numerous exiles who were suffering poverty and banish- 
ment on account of their attachment to his cause. Pride 
too, or rather a just and natural sense of dignity, dis- 
played the unworthiness of a prince descending to actual 
personal conflict with a subject of any degree, and the 
ridicule which would be thrown on his memory, should 
he lose his Hfe for an obscure intrigue by the hand of a 
private gentleman. What would his sage counsellors, 
Nicholas and Hyde, what would his kind and wise gov- 
ernor, the Marquis of Hertford, say to such an act of 
rashness and folly? Would it not be Hkely to shake the 
allegiance of the staid and prudent persons of the Royal- 
ist party, since wherefore should they expose their Hves 
and estates to raise to the government of a kingdom a 
young man who could not command his own temper? 
To this was to be added the consideration that even 
his success would add double difficulties to his escape, 
which already seemed sufficiently precarious. If, stop- 
ping short of death, he merely had the better of his an- 
tagonist, how did he know that he might not seek re- 
venge by delivering up to government the Malignant 
Louis Kerneguy, whose real character could not in that 
case fail to be discovered? 

These considerations strongly recommended to 
Charles that he should clear himself of the challenge 
without fighting ; and the reservation under which he 



had accepted it afforded him some opportunity of do- 
ing so. 

But Passion also had her arguments, which she ad- 
dressed to a temper rendered irritable by recent distress 
and mortification. In the first place, if he was a prince, 
he was also a gentleman, entitled to resent as such, and 
obUged to give or claim the satisfaction expected on oc- 
casion of differences among gentlemen. With EngHsh- 
men, she urged, he could never lose interest by showing 
himseK ready, instead of sheltering himself under his 
royal birth and pretensions, to come frankly forward, 
and maintain what he had done or said on his own re- 
sponsibility. In a free nation, it seemed as if he would 
rather gain than lose in the public estimation by a con- 
duct which could not but seem gallant and generous. 
Then a character for courage was far more necessary to 
support his pretensions than any other kind of reputa- 
tion; and the lying under a challenge, without replying 
to it, might bring his spirit into question. What would 
Villiers and Wilmot say of an intrigue in which he had 
allowed himself to be shamefully bafBed by a country 
girl, and had failed to revenge himself on his rival? The 
pasquinades which they would compose, the witty sar- 
casms which they would circulate, on the occasion, 
would be harder to endure than the grave rebukes of 
Hertford, Hyde, and Nicholas. This reflection, added 
to the stings of youthful and awakened courage, at 
length fixed his resolution, and he returned to Wood- 
stock determined to keep his appointment, come of it 
what might. 

Perhaps there mingled with his resolution a secret 
belief that such a rencontre would not prove fatal. He 



was in the flower of his youth, active in all his exercises, 
and no way inferior to Colonel Everard, as far as the 
morning's experiment had gone, in that of self-defence. 
At least such recollection might pass through his royal 
mind, as he hummed to himself a well-known ditty, 
which he had picked up during his residence in Scot- 
land — 

A man may drink and not be drunk; 

A man may fight and not be slain; 
A man may kiss a bonnie lass, 

And yet be welcome back again. 

Meanwhile the busy and all-directing Dr. Rochecliffe 
had contrived to intimate to Alice that she must give 
him a private audience, and she found him by appoint- 
ment in what was called the study, once filled with an- 
cient books, which, long since converted into cartridges, 
had made more noise in the world at their final exit 
than during the space which had intervened betwixt 
that and their first publication. The Doctor seated him- 
self in a high-backed leathern easy-chair, and signed to 
Alice to fetch a stool and sit down beside him. 

'Alice,' said the old man, taking her hand affection- 
ately, 'thou art a good girl, a wise girl, a virtuous girl, 
one of those whose price is above rubies — not that 
"rubies" is the proper translation — but remind me to 
tell you of that another time. Alice, thou knowest who 
this Louis Kerneguy is; nay, hesitate not to me, I know 
everything — I am well aware of the whole matter. 
Thou knowest this honoured house holds the Fortunes 
of England.' Alice was about to answer. 'Nay, speak 
not, but listen to me, Alice. How does he bear himself 
towards you?' 

1 68 


Alice coloured with the deepest crimson. *I am a 
country-bred girl,' she said, 'and his manners are too 
courtUke for me.' 

' Enough said — I know it all. Alice, he is exposed to 
a great danger to-morrow, and you must be the happy 
means to prevent him.' 

*I prevent him! — how, and in what manner?' said 
Alice, in surprise. *It is my duty, as a subject, to do 
anything — anything that may become my father's 
daughter — ' 

Here she stopped, considerably embarrassed. 

*Yes,' continued the Doctor, 'to-morrow he hath 
made an appointment — an appointment with Mark- 
ham Everard; the hour and place are set — six in the 
morning, by the King's Oak. If they meet, one will 
probably fall.' 

'Now, may God forefend they should meet,' said 
Alice, turning as suddenly pale as she had previously 
reddened. 'But harm cannot come of it: Everard will 
never lift his sword against the King.' 

'For that,' said Dr. Rochecliffe, 'I would not warrant. 
But if that unhappy young gentleman shall have still 
some reserve of the loyalty which his general conduct 
entirely disavows, it would not serve us here; for he 
knows not the King, but considers him merely as a Cav- 
alier, from whom he has received injury.' 

'Let him know the truth. Dr. Rochecliffe, let him 
know it instantly,' said Alice. 'He lift hand against the 
King, a fugitive and defenceless! He is incapable of it. 
My life on the issue, he becomes most active in his pre- 

'That is the thought of a maiden, Alice,' answered the 



Doctor; 'and, as I fear, of a maiden whose wisdom is 
misled by her affections. It were worse than treason to 
admit a rebel officer, the friend of the arch-traitor Crom- 
well, into so great a secret. I dare not answer for such 
rashness. Hammond was trusted by his father, and you 
know what came of it.' 

'Then let my father know. He will meet Markham, 
or send to him, representing the indignity done to him 
by attacking his guest.' 

' We dare not let your father into the secret who Louis 
Kerneguy really is. I did but hint the possibility of 
Charles taking refuge at Woodstock, and the rapture 
into which Sir Henry broke out, the preparations for 
accommodation and defence which he began to talk of, 
plainly showed that the mere enthusiasm of his loyalty 
would have led to a risk of discovery. It is you, AUce, 
who must save the hopes of every true Royalist.' 

' I ! ' answered Alice ; ' it is impossible. Why cannot my 
father be induced to interfere, as in behalf of his friend 
and guest, though he know him as no other than Louis 
Kerneguy? ' 

'You have forgot your father's character, my young 
friend,' said the Doctor: 'an excellent man, and the best 
of Christians, till there is a clashing of swords, and then 
he starts up the complete martialist, as deaf to every 
pacific reasoning as if he were a game-cock.' 

'You forget. Dr. Rochecliffe,' said Alice, 'that this 
very morning, if I understand the thing aright, my fa- 
ther prevented them from fighting.' 

'Ay,' answered the Doctor, 'because he deemed him- 
self bound to keep the peace in the Royal Park ; but it 
was done with such regret, Alice, that, should he find 



them at it again, I am clear to foretell he will only so far 
postpone the combat as to conduct them to some unpriv- 
ileged ground, and there bid them tilt and welcome, 
while he regaled his eyes with a scene so pleasing. No, 
Ahce, it is you, and you only, who can help us in this 

*I see no possibility,' said she, again colouring, 'how I 
can be of the least use.' 

'You must send a note,' answered Dr. RocheclifTe, 'to 
the King — a note such as all women know how to write 
better than any man can teach them — to meet you at 
the precise hour of the rendezvous. He will not fail you, 
for I know his unhappy foible.' 

*Dr. Rochecliffe,' said Alice, gravely, 'you have 
known me from infancy. What have you seen in me to 
induce you to believe that I should ever follow such un- 
becoming counsel?' 

'And if you have known me from infancy,' retorted 
the Doctor, 'what have you seen of me that you should 
suspect me of giving counsel to my friend's daughter 
which it would be misbecoming in her to follow? You 
cannot be fool enough, I think, to suppose that I mean 
you should carry your complaisance further than to 
keep him in discourse for an hour or two, till I have all 
in readiness for liis leaving this place, from which I can 
frighten him by the terrors of an alleged search? So, 
C. S. mounts his horse and rides off, and Mistress Alice 
Lee has the honour of saving him.' 

'Yes, at the expense of her own reputation,' said Alice, 
'and the risk of an eternal stain on my family. You say 
you know all. What can the King think of my appoint- 
ing an assignation with him after what has passed, and 



how will it be possible to disabuse him respecting the 
purpose of my doing so? ' 

' I will disabuse him, Alice — I will explain the whole.' 

'Dr. Rochecliffe,' said Alice, 'you propose what is im- 
possible. You can do much by your ready wit and great 
wisdom ; but if new-fallen snow were once sullied, not all 
your art would wash it white again ; and it is altogether 
the same with a maiden's reputation.' 

'Alice, my dearest child,' said the Doctor, 'bethink 
you that, if I recommend this means of saving the Hfe of 
the King, at least rescuing him from instant peril, it is 
because I see no other of which to avail myself. If I bid 
you assume, even for a moment, the semblance of what 
is wrong, it is but in the last extremity, and under cir- 
cumstances which cannot return. I will take the surest 
means to prevent all evil report which can arise from 
what I recommend.' 

'Say not so. Doctor,' said Ahce: 'better undertake to 
turn back the Isis than to stop the course of calumny. 
The King will make boast to his whole licentious court 
of the ease with which, but for a sudden alarm, he could 
have brought off Alice Lee as a paramour: the mouth 
which confers honour on others will then be the means 
to deprive me of mine. Take a fitter course, one more 
becoming your own character and profession. Do not 
lead him to fail in an engagement of honour, by holding 
out the prospect of another engagement equally dishon- 
ourable, whether false or true. Go to the King himself, 
speak to him, as the servants of God have a right to 
speak, even to earthly sovereigns. Point out to him the 
folly and the wickedness of the course he is about to pur- 
sue; urge upon him that he fear the sword, since wrath 



bringeth the punishment of the sword. Tell him, that 
the friends who died for him in the field at Worcester, on 
the scafifolds, and on the gibbets, since that bloody day, 
that the remnant who are in prison, scattered, fled, and 
ruined on his account, deserve better of him and his fa- 
ther's race than that he should throw away his life in an 
idle brawl. Tell him, that it is dishonest to venture 
that which is not his own, dishonourable to betra}' the 
trust which brave men have reposed in his virtue and 
in his courage.' 

Dr. Rochecliffe looked on her with a melancholy smile, 
his eyes glistening as he said, 'Alas, AHce, even I could 
not plead that just cause to him so eloquently or so im- 
pressively as thou dost. But, alack ! Charles would listen 
to neither. It is not from priests or women, he would 
say, that men should receive counsel in affairs of honour.' 

'Then, hear me, Dr. Rochecliffe — I will appear at 
the place of rendezvous, and I will prevent the combat 
— do not fear that I can do what I say — at a sacrifice, 
indeed, but not that of my reputation. My heart may 
be broken (she endeavoured to stifle her sobs with diffi- 
culty) for the consequence; but not in the imagination 
of a man, and far less that man her sovereign, shall a 
thought of Alice Lee be associated with dishonour.' She 
hid her face in her handkerchief, and burst out into un- 
restrained tears. 

'What means this hysterical passion?' said Dr. 
Rochecfiffe, surprised and somewhat alarmed by the 
vehemence of her grief. ' Maiden, I must have no con- 
cealments — I must know.' 

'Exert your ingenuity, then, and discover it,' said 
Alice, for a moment put out of temper at the Doctor's 



pertinacious self-importance. 'Guess my purpose, as 
you can guess at everything else. It is enough to have 
to go through my task, I will not endure the distress of 
telling it over, and that to one who — forgive me, dear 
Doctor — might not think my agitation on this occa- 
sion fully warranted.' 

'Nay, then, my young mistress, you must be ruled,' 
said Rochecliff e ; ' and if I cannot make you explain your- 
self, I must see whether your father can gain so far on 
you.' So saying, he arose somewhat displeased, and 
walked towards the door. 

'You forget what you yourself told me. Dr. Roche- 
cliffe,' said Alice, 'of the risk of communicating this great 
secret to my father.' 

'It is too true,' he said, stopping short and turning 
round; 'and I think, wench, thou art too smart for me, 
and I have not met many such. But thou art a good 
girl, and wilt tell me thy device of free-will; it con- 
cerns my character and influence with the King, that 
I should be fully acquainted with whatever is actum 
atque tractatum, done and treated of in this matter.' 

'Trust your character to me, good Doctor,' said Alice, 
attempting to smile; 'it is of firmer stuff than those of 
women, and will be safer in my custody than mine could 
have been in yours. And thus much I condescend: you 
shall see the whole scene — you shall go with me your- 
self, and much will I feel emboldened and heartened by 
your company.' 

'That is something,' said the Doctor, though not alto- 
gether satisfied with this Hmited confidence. ' Thou wert 
ever a clever wench, and I will trust thee — indeed, 
trust thee I find I must, whether voluntarily or no.' 



*Meet me, then/ said Alice, 'in the wilderness to- 
morrow. But first tell me, are you well assured of time 
and place? a mistake were fatal.' 

'Assure yourself my information is entirely accurate,* 
said the Doctor, resuming his air of consequence, which 
had been a little diminished during the latter part of 
their conference. 

'May I ask,' said Alice, 'through what channel you 
acquired such important information?' 

'You may ask, unquestionably,' he answered, now 
completely restored to his supremacy; 'but whether I 
will answer or not is a very different question. I conceive 
neither your reputation nor my own is interested in your 
remaining in ignorance on that subject. So I have my 
secrets as well as you, mistress; and some of them, I 
fancy, are a good deal more worth knowing.' 

'Be it so,' said Alice, quietly; 'if you will meet me in 
the wilderness by the broken dial at half-past five ex- 
actly, we will go together to-morrow, and watch them as 
they come to the rendezvous. I will on the way get the 
better of my present timidity, and explain to you the 
means I design to employ to prevent mischief. You can 
perhaps think of making some effort which may render 
my interference, unbecoming and painful as it must be, 
altogether unnecessary.' 

'Nay, my child,' said the Doctor, 'if you place your- 
self in my hands, you will be the first that ever had rea- 
son to complain of my want of conduct, and you may 
well judge you are the very last — one excepted — 
whom I would see suffer for want of counsel. At half- 
past five, then, at the dial in the wilderness, and God 
bless our undertaking!' 



Here their interview was interrupted by the sonorous 
voice of Sir Henry Lee, which shouted their names, 
'Daughter Ahce — Dr. Rochecliffe,' through passage 
and gallery. 

'What do you here,' said he, entering, 'sitting like two 
crows in a mist, when we have such rare sport below? 
Here is this wild, crackbrained boy Louis Kerneguy, 
now making me laugh till my sides are fit to split, and 
now playing on his guitar sweetly enough to win a lark 
from the heavens. Come away with you — come away. 
It is hard work to laugh alone.' 


This is the place, the centre of the grove; 
Here stands the oak, the monarch of the wood. 

John Home 

The sun had risen on the broad boughs of the forest, but 
without the power of penetrating into its recesses, which 
hung rich with heavy dewdrops, and were beginning on 
some of the trees to exhibit the varied tints of autumn; 
it being the season when nature, hke a prodigal whose 
race is welhiigh run, seems desirous to make up in pro- 
fuse gaiety and variety of colours for the short space 
which her splendour has then to endure. The birds were 
silent; and even Robin Redbreast, whose chirruping 
song was heard among the bushes near the lodge, em- 
boldened by the largesses with which the good old knight 
always encouraged his familiarity, did not venture into 
the recesses of the wood, where he encountered the 
sparrow-hawk and other enemies of a similar descrip- 
tion, preferring the vicinity of the dwellings of man, 
from whom he, almost solely among the feathered tribes, 
seems to experience disinterested protection. 

The scene was therefore at once lovely and silent, 
when the good Dr. Rochecliffe, wrapped in a scarlet 
roquelaure, which had seen service in its day, mufHing 
his face more from habit than necessity, and supporting 
Alice on his arm, she also defended by a cloak against 
the cold and damp of the autumn morning, glided 
through the tangled and long grass of the darkest alleys, 
38 177 


almost ankle-deep in dew, towards the place appointed 
for the intended duel. Both so eagerly maintained the 
consultation in which they were engaged, that they were 
alike insensible of the roughness and discomforts of the 
road, though often obliged to force their way through 
brushwood and coppice, which poured down on them 
all the liquid pearls with which they were loaded, till the 
mantles they were wrapped in hung lank by their sides, 
and clung to their shoulders heavily charged with moist- 
ure. They stopped when they had attained a station 
under the coppice, and shrouded by it, from which they 
could see all that passed on the Httle esplanade before 
the King's Oak, whose broad and scathed form, con- 
torted and shattered limbs, and frowning brows made 
it appear like some ancient war-worn champion, well 
selected to be the umpire of a field of single combat. 

The first person who appeared at the rendezvous was 
the gay Cavaher Roger Wildrake. He also was wrapped 
in his cloak, but had discarded his Puritanic beaver, and 
wore in its stead a Spanish hat, with a feather and gilt 
hat-band, all of which had encountered bad weather and 
hard service ; but to make amends for the appearance of 
poverty by the show of pretension, the castor was accur- 
ately adjusted after what was rather profanely called 
the d — me cut, used among the more desperate 
Cavahers. He advanced hastily, and exclaimed aloud, 
'First in the field after all, by Jove, though I bilked 
Everard in order to have my morning draught. It has 
done me much good,' he added, smacking his lips. 'Well, 
I suppose I should search the ground ere my principal 
comes up, whose Presbyterian watch trudges as slow as 
his Presbyterian step.' 



He took his rapier from under his cloak, and seemed 
about to search the thickets around. 

*I will prevent him,' whispered the Doctor to Alice. 
*I will keep faith with you: you shall not come on the 
scene, nisi digitus vindice nodus; I'll explain that an- 
other time. Vindex is feminine as well as masculine, so 
the quotation is defensible. Keep you close.' 

So saying, he stepped forward on the esplanade, and 
bowed to Wildrake. 

'Master Louis Kemeguy,' said Wildrake, pulling off 
his hat; but instantly discovering his error, he added, 
'But no — I beg your pardon, sir — fatter, shorter, 
older. Mr. Kerneguy's friend, I suppose, with whom I 
hope to have a turn by and by. And why not now, sir, 
before our principals come up? just a snack to stay the 
orifice of the stomach, till the dinner is served, sir. 
What say you? ' 

* To open the orifice of the stomach more likely, or to 
give it a new one,' said the Doctor. 

'True, sir,' said Roger, who seemed now in his ele- 
ment: 'you say well — that is as thereafter may be. 
But come, sir, you wear your face mufiled. I grant 
you, it is honest men's fashion at this unhappy time; 
the more is the pity. But we do all above board: we 
have no traitors here. I'll get into my gears first, to 
encourage you, and show you that you have to deal 
with a gentleman, who honours the King, and is a 
match fit to fight with any who follow him, as doubt- 
less you do, sir, since you are the friend of Master 
Louis Kemeguy.' 

All this while, Wildrake was busied undoing the 
clasps of his square-caped cloak. 



*Off — off, ye lendings,' he said, 'borrowings I should 
more properly call you — 

Via the curtain which shadow'd Borgia!' 

So saying, he threw the cloak from him and appeared 
in cuerpo, in a most Cavalier-like doublet, of greasy 
crimson satin, pinked and slashed with what had been 
once white tiffany; breeches of the same; and nether- 
stocks, or, as we now call them, stockings, darned in 
many places, and which, like those of Poins, had been 
once peach-coloured. A pair of pumps, ill calculated for 
a walk through the dew, and a broad shoulder-belt of 
tarnished embroidery, completed his equipment. 

'Come, sir,' he exclaimed, 'make haste, off with your 
slough. Here I stand tight and true, as loyal a lad as 
ever stuck rapier through a Roundhead. Come, sir, to 
your tools!' he continued; 'we may have half a dozen 
thrusts before they come yet, and shame them for their 
tardiness. Pshaw ! ' he exclaimed, in a most disappointed 
tone, when the Doctor, unfolding his cloak, showed his 
clerical dress. 'Tush! it's but the parson after all.' 

Wildrake's respect for the church, however, and his 
desire to remove one who might possibly interrupt a 
scene to which he looked forward with pecuhar satisfac- 
tion, induced him presently to assume another tone. 

'I beg pardon,' he said, 'my dear Doctor. I kiss the 
hem of your cassock — I do, by the thundering Jove — 
I beg your pardon again. But I am happy I have met 
with you : they are raving for your presence at the lodge 
— to marry, or christen, or bury, or confess, or some- 
thing very urgent. For Heaven's sake, make haste!' 

'At the lodge?' said the Doctor. 'Why, I left the 



lodge this instant — I was there later, I am sure, than 
you could be, who came the Woodstock road.' 

'Well,' replied Wildrake, *it is at Woodstock they 
want you. Rat it, did I say the lodge? No, no — Wood- 
stock. Mine host cannot be hanged — his daughter 
married — his bastard christened — or his wife buried, 
without the assistance of a real clergyman. Your 
Holdenoughs won't do for them. He 's a true man, mine 
host; so, as you value your function, make haste.' 

'You will pardon me, Master Wildrake,' said the 
Doctor: 'I wait for Master Louis Kerneguy.' 

'The devil you do!' exclaimed Wildrake. 'Why, I al- 
ways knew the Scots could do nothing without their 
minister; but, d — n it, I never thought they put them 
to this use neither. But I have known jolly customers in 
orders, who understood to handle the sword as well as 
their Prayer Book. You know the purpose of our meet- 
ing, Doctor. Do you come only as a ghostly comforter 
— or as a surgeon, perhaps — or do you ever take bilboa 
in hand? Sa — sa!' 

Here he made a fencing demonstration with his 
sheathed rapier. 

' I have done so, sir, on necessary occasion,' said Dr. 

'Good, sir, let this stand for a necessary one,' said 
Wildrake. 'You know my devotion for the church. If a 
divine of your skill would do me the honour to exchange 
but three passes with me, I should think myself happy 
for ever.' 

'Sir,' said Rochecliffe, smiling, 'were there no other 
objection to what you propose, I have not the means: I 
have no weapon.' 



* What! you want the de quoi? that is unlucky indeed. 
But you have a stout cane in your hand; what hinders 
our trying a pass, my rapier being sheathed, of course, 
until our principals come up? My pumps are full of this 
frost-dew; and I shall be a toe or two out of pocket 
if I am to stand still all the time they are stretching 
themselves; for, I fancy. Doctor, you are of my opin- 
ion, that the matter will not be a fight of cock-spar- 

'My business here is to make it, if possible, be no fight 
at all,' said the divine. 

'Now, rat me, Doctor, but that is too spiteful,' said 
Wildrake; 'and were it not for my respect for the 
church, I could turn Presbyterian, to be revenged.' 

'Stand back a Httle, if you please, sir,' said the Doc- 
tor: 'do not press forward in that direction.' For 
Wildrake, in the agitation of his movements, induced by 
his disappointment, approached the spot where Alice 
remained still concealed. 

'And wherefore not, I pray you. Doctor?' said the 

But on advancing a step, he suddenly stopped short 
and muttered to himself, with a round oath of aston- 
ishment, 'A petticoat in the coppice, by all that is rever- 
end, and at this hour in the morning — whew-ew-ew!' 
He gave vent to his surprise in a long, low, interjectional 
whistle; then turning to the Doctor, with his finger on 
the side of his nose, 'You're sly. Doctor — d — d sly! 
But why not give me a hint of your — your commodity 
there — your contraband goods? Gad, sir, I am not 
a man to expose the eccentricities of the church.' 

'Sir,' said Dr. Rochecliffe, 'you are impertinent; and 


if time served, and it were worth my while, I would 
chastise you.' 

And the Doctor, who had served long enough in the 
wars to have added some of the qualities of a captain of 
horse to those of a divine, actually raised his cane, to the 
infinite delight of the rake, whose respect for the church 
was by no means able to subdue his love of mischief. 

'Nay, Doctor,' said he, 'if you wield your weapon 
backsword fashion in that way, and raise it as high as 
your head, I shall be through you in a twinkling.' So 
saying, he made a pass with his sheathed rapier, not pre- 
cisely at the Doctor's person, but in that direction; 
when Rochecliffe, changing the direction of his cane 
from the broadsword guard to that of the rapier, made 
the Cavalier's sword spring ten yards out of his hand, 
with all the dexterity of my friend Francalanza. At this 
moment both the principal parties appeared on the field. 

Everard exclaimed angrily to Wildrake, ' Is this your 
friendship? In Heaven's name, what make you in that 
fool's jacket, and playing the pranks of a jack-pudding? ' 
while his worthy second, somewhat crestfallen, held 
down his head, like a boy caught in roguery, and went to 
pick up his weapon, stretching his head, as he passed, 
into the coppice, to obtain another glimpse, if possible, 
of the concealed object of his curiosity. 

Charles, in the meantime, still more surprised at what 
he beheld, called out on his part — 'What I Dr. Roche- 
cliffe become literally one of the church mihtant, and 
tilting with my friend Cavalier Wildrake? May I use the 
freedom to ask him to withdraw, as Colonel Everard and 
I have some private business to settle?' 

It was Dr. Rochecliffe's cue, on this important occa- 



sion, to have armed himself with the authority of his 
sacred office, and used a tone of interference which 
might have overawed even a monarch, and made him 
feel that his monitor spoke by a warrant higher than his 
own. But the indiscreet latitude he had just given to his 
own passion, and the levity in which he had been de- 
tected, were very unfavourable to his assuming that 
superiority to which so uncontrollable a spirit as that of 
Charles, wilful as a prince and capricious as a wit, was at 
all likely to submit. The Doctor did, however, endeav- 
our to rally his dignity, and replied, with the gravest, 
and at the same time the most respectful, tone he could 
assume, that he also had business of the most urgent na- 
ture, which prevented him from complying with Master 
Kerneguy's wishes and leaving that spot. 

'Excuse this untimely interruption,' said Charles, 
taking off his hat and bowing to Colonel Everard, 
* which I will immediately put an end to.' 

Everard gravely returned his salute, and was silent. 

'Are you mad, Dr. Rochecliffe? ' said Charles; *or are 
you deaf ? or have you forgotten your mother-tongue? I 
desired you to leave this place.' 

'I am not mad,' said the divine, rousing up his resolu- 
tion, and regaining the natural firmness of his voice; *I 
would prevent others from being so. I am not deaf; I 
would pray others to hear the voice of reason and re- 
ligion. I have not forgotten my mother- tongue; but I 
have come hither to speak the language of the Master of 
kings and princes.' 

'To fence with broomsticks, I should rather suppose,' 
said the King. * Come, Dr. Rochecliffe, this sudden fit of 
assumed importance befits you as httle as your late frolic. 



You are not, I apprehend, either a Catholic priest or a 
Scotch Mass John, to claim devoted obedience from 
your hearers, but a Church of England man, subject to 
the rules of that communion — and to its Head.' In 
speaking the last words, the King lowered his voice to 
a low and impressive whisper. Everard observing this 
drew back, the natural generosity of his temper direct- 
ing him to avoid overhearing private discourse in which 
the safety of the speakers might be deeply concerned. 
They continued, however, to observe great caution in 
their forms of expression. 

'Master Kerneguy,' said the clergyman, 'it is not I 
who assume authority or control over your wishes — God 
forbid: I do but tell you what reason, Scripture, religion, 
and morality alike prescribe for your rule of conduct.' 

'And I, Doctor,' said the King, smiling, and pointing 
to the unlucky cane, ' will take your example rather than 
your precept. If a reverend clergyman will himself fight 
a bout at single-stick, what right can he have to interfere 
in gentlemen's quarrels? Come, sir, remove yourself, 
and do not let your present obstinacy cancel former 

'Bethink yourself,' said the divine, 'I can say one 
word which will prevent all this.' 

'Do it,' replied the King, 'and in doing so belie the 
whole tenor and actions of an honourable life: abandon 
the principles of your church, and become a perjured 
traitor and an apostate, to prevent another person from 
discharging his duty as a gentleman. This were indeed 
killing your friend to prevent the risk of his running 
himself into danger. Let the passive obedience which is 
so often in your mouth, and no doubt in your head, put 



your feet for once into motion, and step aside for ten 
minutes. Within that space your assistance may be 
needed, either as body-curer or soul-curer.' 

'Nay, then,' said Dr. Rochecliffe, 'I have but one 
argument left.' 

While this conversation was carried on apart, Everard 
had almost forcibly detained by his own side his fol- 
lower Wildrake, whose greater curiosity and lesser deli- 
cacy would otherwise have thrust him forward, to get, 
if possible, into the secret. But when he saw the Doctor 
turn into the coppice, he whispered eagerly to Everard 
— ' A gold Carolus to a Commonwealth farthing, the 
Doctor has not only come to preach a peace, but has 
brought the principal conditions along with him.' 

Everard made no answer; he had already unsheathed 
his sword, and Charles hardly saw Rochecliffe's back 
fairly turned than he lost no time in following his exam- 
ple. But, ere they had done more than salute each other 
with the usual courteous flourish of their weapons. Dr. 
Rochecliffe again stood between them, leading in his 
hand Alice Lee, her garments dank with dew, and her 
long hair heavy with moisture and totally uncurled. 
Her face was extremely pale, but it was the paleness of 
desperate resolution, not of fear. There was a dead 
pause of astonishment : the combatants rested on their 
swords, and even the forwardness of Wildrake only 
vented itself in half-suppressed ejaculations, as, 'Well 
done. Doctor — this beats the "parson among the 
pease." No less than your patron's daughter. And 
Mistress Alice, whom I thought a very snowdrop, turned 
out a dog-violet after all — a Lindabrides, by Heavens, 
and altogether one of ourselves!' 



Excepting these unheeded mutterings, Alice was the 
first to speak. 

'Master Everard,' she said — 'Master Kerneguy, you 
are surprised to see me here. Yet, why should I not tell 
the reason at once? Con\T[nced that I am, however 
guiltlessly, the unhappy cause of your misunderstand- 
ing, I am too much interested to prevent fatal conse- 
quences to pause upon any step which may end it. 
Master Kerneguy, have my wishes, my entreaties, my 
prayers — have your noble thoughts, the recollections 
of your own high duties, no weight with you in this 
matter? Let me entreat you to consult reason, religion, 
and common sense, and return your weapon.' 

*I am obedient as an Eastern slave, madam,' answered 
Charles, sheathing his sword; 'but I assure you, the 
matter about which you distress yourself is a mere 
trifle, which will be much better settled betwixt Colonel 
Everard and myself in five minutes than with the 
assistance of the whole convocation of the church, with 
a female parliament to assist their reverend delibera- 
tions. Mr. Everard, will you obHge me by walking a 
little farther? We must change ground, it seems.' 

'I am ready to attend you, sir,' said Everard, who had 
sheathed his sword so soon as his antagonist did so. 

* I have then no interest with you, sir,' said Alice, con- 
tinuing to address the King. ' Do you not fear I should 
use the secret in my power to prevent this affair going to 
extremity? Think you this gentleman, who raises his 
hand against you, if he knew — ' 

'If he knew that I were Lord Wihnot, madam, you 
would say? Accident has given him proof to that effect, 
with which he is already satisfied, and I think you would 



find it difficult to induce him to embrace a different 

Alice paused, and looked on the King with great indig- 
nation, the following words dropping from her mouth by 
intervals, as if they burst forth one by one in spite of 
feelings that would have restrained them — 'Cold — self- 
ish — ungrateful — unkind! Woe to the land which — ' 
here she paused with marked emphasis, then added — 
* which shall number thee, or such as thee, among her 
nobles and rulers ! ' 

'Nay, fair Alice,' said Charles, whose good-nature 
could not but feel the severity of this reproach, though 
too slightly to make all the desired impression, 'you are 
too unjust to me — too partial to a happier man. Do 
not call me unkind : I am but here to answer Mr. Ever- 
ard's summons. I could neither decline attending nor 
withdraw now I am here without loss of honour; and my 
loss of honour would be a disgrace which must extend to 
many. I cannot fly from Mr. Everard : it would be too 
shameful. If he abides by his message, it must be de- 
cided as such affairs usually are. If he retreats or yields 
it up, I will, for your sake, wave punctilio. I will not 
even ask an apology for the trouble it has afforded me, 
but let all pass as if it were the consequence of some un- 
happy mistake, the grounds of which shall remain on my 
part uninquired into. This I will do for your sake, and 
it is much for a man of honour to condescend so far. You 
know that the condescension from me in particular is 
great indeed. Then do not call me ungenerous, or un- 
grateful or unkind, since I am ready to do all which, as a 
man, I can do, and more perhaps than as a man of hon- 
our I ought to do.' 



'Do you hear this, Markham Everard,' exclaimed 
Alice — 'do you hear this? The dreadful option is left 
entirely at your disposal. You were wont to be temper- 
ate in passion, religious, forgivdng; will you, for a mere 
punctilio, drive on this private and unchristian broil to a 
murderous extremity? Believe me, if you now, contrary 
to all the better principles of your life, give the reins to 
your passions, the consequences may be such as you will 
rue for your lifetime, and even, if Heaven have not 
mercy, rue after your life is finished.' 

Markham Everard remained for a moment gloomily 
silent, with his eyes fixed on the ground. At length he 
looked up and answered her. 'Alice you are a soldier's 
daughter, a soldier's sister. All your relations, even 
including one whom you then entertained some regard 
for, have been made soldiers by these unhappy discords. 
Yet you have seen them take the field, in some in- 
stances on contrary sides, to do their duty where their 
principles called them, without manifesting this extreme 
degree of interest. Answer me — and your answer shall 
decide my conduct — Is this youth, so short while 
known, already of more value to you than those dear 
connexions, father, brother, and kinsman, whose depart- 
ure to battle you saw with comparative indifference? Say 
this, and it shall be enough: I leave the ground, never to 
see you or this country again.' 

'Stay, Markham — stay; and believe me when I say 
that, if I answer your question in the affirmative, it is 
because Master Kerneguy's safety comprehends more 
— much more than that of any of those you have men- 

' Indeed ! I did not know a coronet had been so superior 



in value to the crest of a private gentleman,' said Ever- 
ard; 'yet I have heard that many women think so.' 

'You apprehend me amiss/ said Alice, perplexed be- 
tween the difficulty of so expressing herself as to prevent 
immediate mischief, and at the same time anxious to 
combat the jealousy and disarm the resentment which 
she saw arising in the bosom of her lover. But she found 
no words fine enough to draw the distinction, without 
leading to a discovery of the King's actual character, 
and perhaps, in consequence, to his destruction. 'Mark- 
ham,' she said, ' have compassion on me. Press me not at 
this moment; believe me, the honour and happiness of 
my father, of my brother, and of my whole family are in- 
terested in Master Kemeguy's safety — are inextricably 
concerned in this matter resting where it now does.' 

'Oh, ay, I doubt not,' said Everard: 'the house of 
Lee ever looked up to nobiUty, and valued in their con- 
nexions the fantastic loyalty of a courtier beyond the 
sterHng and honest patriotism of a plain country gentle- 
man. For them, the thing is in course. But on your 
part — you, Alice — O ! on your part, whom I have 
loved so dearly, who has suffered me to think that my 
affection was not unrepaid — can the attractions of an 
empty title, the idle court compHments of a mere man of 
quality, during only a few hours, lead you to prefer a 
libertine lord to such a heart as mine? ' 

'No — no — believe me, no,' said Alice, in the extrem- 
ity of distress. 

'Put your answer, which seems so painful, in one word, 
and say for whose safety it is you are thus deeply in- 
terested? ' 

'For both — for both,' said Alice. 


'That answer will not serve, Alice,' answered Everard; 
'here is no room for equality, I must and will know to 
what I have to trust. I understand not the paltering 
which makes a maiden unwilling to decide betwixt two 
suitors; nor would I willingly impute to you the vanity 
that cannot remain contented with one lover at once.' 

The vehemence of Everard's displeasure, when he sup- 
posed his own long and sincere devotion lightly forgotten 
amid the addresses of a profligate courtier, awakened 
the spirit of Ahce Lee, who, as we elsewhere said, had a 
portion in her temper of the lion humour that was char- 
acteristic of her family. 

'If I am thus misinterpreted,' she said, — 'if I am 
not judged worthy of the least confidence or candid con- 
struction, hear my declaration, and my assurance that, 
strange as my words may seem, they are, when truly in- 
terpreted, such as do you no wrong. I tell you — I tell 
all present, and I tell this gentleman himself, who well 
knows the sense in which I speak, that his life and 
safety are, or ought to be, of more value to me than 
those of any other man in the kingdom — nay, in the 
world, be that other who he will.' 

These words she spoke in a tone so firm and decided 
as admitted no further discussion. Charles bowed low 
and with gravity, but remained silent. Everard, his fea- 
tures agitated by the emotions which his pride barely 
enabled him to suppress, advanced to his antagonist, 
and said, in a tone which he vainly endeavoured to make 
a firm one, ' Sir, you heard the lady's declaration, with 
such feelings, doubtless, of gratitude as the case emi- 
nently demands. As her poor kinsman, and an unwor- 
thy suitor, sir, I presume to yield my interest in her to 



you ; and, as I will never be the means of giving her pain, 
I trust you will not think I act unworthily in retracting 
the letter which gave you the trouble of attending this 
place at this hour. Alice,' he said, turning his head to- 
wards her — 'farewell, Alice, at once and for ever!' 

The poor yoiing lady, whose adventitious spirit had 
almost deserted her, attempted to repeat the word 'fare- 
well,' but, failing in the attempt, only accomplished a 
broken and imperfect sound, and would have sunk to 
the ground, but for Dr. Rochecliffe, who caught her as 
she fell. Roger Wildrake, also, who had twice or thrice 
put to his eyes what remained of a kerchief, interested 
by the lady's evident distress, though unable to com- 
prehend the mysterious cause, hastened to assist the 
divine in supporting so fair a burden. 

Meanwhile, the disguised prince had beheld the whole 
in silence, but with an agitation to which he was un- 
wonted, and which his swarthy features, and still more 
his motions, began to betray. His posture was at first 
absolutely stationary, with his arms folded on his bosom, 
as one who waits to be guided by the current of events; 
presently after, he shifted his position, advanced and 
retired his foot, clenched and opened his hand, and other- 
wise showed symptoms that he was strongly agitated 
by contending feehngs, was on the point, too, of forming 
some sudden resolution, and yet still in uncertainty what 
course he should pursue. But when he saw Markham 
Everard, after one look of unspeakable anguish towards 
Alice, turning his back to depart, he broke out into his 
familiar ejaculation, 'Odds-fish! this must not be.' In 
three strides he overtook the slowly-retiring Everard, 
tapped him smartly on the shoulder, and, as he turned 



round, said, with an air of command, which he well 
knew how to adopt at pleasure, 'One word with you, 

'At your pleasure, sir,' replied Everard, and, natur- 
ally conjecturing the purpose of his antagonist to be hos- 
tile, took hold of his rapier with the left hand, and laid 
the right on the hilt, not displeased at the supposed call; 
for anger is at least as much akin to disappointment as 
pity is said to be to love. 

'Pshaw!' answered the King, 'that cannot be now. 
Colonel Everard, I am Charles Stuart!' 

Everard recoiled in the greatest surprise, and next 
exclaimed, 'Impossible — it cannot be! The King of 
Scots has escaped from Bristol. My Lord Wilmot, your 
talents for intrigue are well known, but this will not pass 
upon me.' 

'The King of Scots, Master Everard,' replied Charles, 
'since you are so pleased to limit his sovereignty — at 
any rate, the eldest son of the late sovereign of Britain 
— is now before you ; therefore it is impossible he could 
have escaped from Bristol. Dr. Rochecliffe shall be my 
voucher, and will tell you, moreover, that Wilmot is of a 
fair complexion and light hair; mine, you may see, is 
swart as a raven.' 

Rocheclifife, seeing what was passing, abandoned 
Alice to the care of Wildrake, whose extreme deHcacy in 
the attempts he made to bring her back to life formed an 
amiable contrast to his usual wildness, and occupied him 
so much, that he remained for the moment ignorant of 
the disclosure in which he would have been so much in- 
terested. As for Dr. Rochecliffe, he came forward, wring- 
ing his hands in all the demonstration of extreme anx- 
38 193 


iety, and with the usual exclamations attending such a 

'Peace, Dr. Rochecliffe!' said the King, with such 
complete self-possession as indeed became a prince. ' We 
are in the hands, I am satisfied, of a man of honour. 
Master Everard must be pleased in finding only a fugi- 
tive prince in the person in whom he thought he had dis- 
covered a successful rival. He cannot but be aware of 
the feelings which prevented me from taking advantage 
of the cover which this young lady's devoted loyalty af- 
forded me, at the risk of her own happiness. He is the 
party who is to profit by my candour; and certainly I 
have a right to expect that my condition, already indif- 
ferent enough, shall not be rendered worse by his be- 
coming privy to it, under such circumstances. At any 
rate, the avowal is made; and it is for Colonel Everard 
to consider how he is to conduct himself.' 

'Oh, your Majesty! — my Liege! — my King! — my 
royal Prince!' exclaimed Wildrake, who, at length, dis- 
covering what was passing, had crawled on his knees, 
and seizing the King's hand, was kissing it, more like a 
child mumbling gingerbread, or like a lover devouring 
the yielded hand of his mistress, than in the manner in 
which such salutations pass at court. ' If my dear friend 
Mark Everard should prove a dog on this occasion, rely 
on me I will cut his throat on the spot, were I to do the 
same for myself the moment afterwards.' 

'Hush — hush, my good friend and loyal subject/ 
said the King, 'and compose yourself; for though I am 
obliged to put on the prince for a moment, we have not 
privacy or safety to receive our subjects in King Cam- 
byses's vein.' 



Everard, who had stood for a time utterly confounded, 
awoke at length like a man from a dream. 

'Sire,' he said, bowing low and with profound defer- 
ence, * if I do not offer you the homage of a subject with 
knee and sword, it is because God, by whom kings reign, 
has denied you for the present the power of ascending 
your throne without rekindling civil war. For your 
safety being endangered by me, let not such an imag- 
ination for an instant cross your mind. Had I not re- 
spected your person, were I not bound to you for the 
candour with which your noble avowal has prevented 
the misery of my future life, your misfortunes would 
have rendered your person as sacred, so far as I can pro- 
tect it, as it could be esteemed by the most devoted Roy- 
alist in the kingdom. If your plans are soundly consid- 
ered and securely laid, think that all which is now passed 
is but a dream. If they are in such a state that I can aid 
them, saving my duty to the Commonwealth, which will 
permit me to be privy to no schemes of actual violence, 
your Majesty may command my services.' 

' It may be I may be troublesome to you, sir,' said the 
King, 'for my fortunes are not such as to permit me to 
reject even the most limited offers of assistance; but if I 
can, I will dispense with applying to you: I would not 
willingly put any man's compassion at war with his sense 
of duty on my account. Doctor, I think there will be no 
further tilting to-day, either with sword or cane; so we 
may as well return to the lodge, and leave these (look- 
ing at Alice and Everard), who may have more to say 
in explanation.' 

*No — no!' exclaimed AHce, who was now perfectly 
come to herself, and, partly by her own observation and 



partly from the report of Dr. Rochecliffe, comprehended 
all that had taken place. 'My cousin Everard and I 
have nothing to explain: he will forgive me for having 
riddled with him when I dared not speak plainly ; and 
I forgive him for having read my riddle wrong. But 
my father has my promise, we must not correspond or 
converse for the present; I return instantly to the lodge 
and he to Woodstock, unless you, sire,' bowing to the 
King, 'command his duty otherwise. Instant to the 
town, cousin Markham; and if danger should approach, 
give us warning.' 

Everard would have delayed her departure, would 
have excused himself for his unjust suspicion, would 
have said a thousand things; but she would not listen 
to him, saying, for all other answer, 'Farewell, Mark- 
ham, till God send better days!' 

' She is an angel of truth and beauty,' said Roger Wild- 
rake; 'and I, like a blasphemous heretic, called her a 
Lindab rides! But has your Majesty — craving your 
pardon — no commands for poor Hodge Wildrake, who 
will blow out his own or any other man's brains in 
England to do your Grace a pleasure? ' 

' We entreat our good friend Wildrake to do nothing 
hastily,' said Charles, smiling: 'such brains as his are 
rare, and should not be rashly dispersed, as the like may 
not be easily collected. We recommend him to be silent 
and prudent, to tilt no more with loyal clergymen of 
the Church of England, and to get himself a new jacket 
with all convenient speed, to which we beg to contribute 
our royal aid. When fit time comes, we hope to find 
other service for him.' 

^ As he spoke, he slid ten pieces into the hand of poor 



Wildrake, who, confounded with the excess of his loyal 
gratitude, blubbered like a child, and would have fol- 
lowed the King, had not Dr. Rochechffe, in few words, 
but peremptory, insisted that he should return with his 
patron, promising him he should certainly be employed 
in assisting the King's escape, could an opportunity be 
found of using his services. 

*Be so generous, reverend sir, and you bind me to you 
for ever,' said the Cavalier; 'and I conjure you not to 
keep malice against me on account of the foolery you 
wot of.' 

*I have no occasion, Captain Wildrake,' said the Doc- 
tor, 'for I think I had the best of it.' 

'Well, then, Doctor, I forgive you on my part; and I 
pray you, for Christian charity, let me have a finger in 
this good service; for as I live in hope of it, rely that I 
shall die of disappointment.' 

While the Doctor and soldier thus spoke together, 
Charles took leave of Everard (who remained uncov- 
ered while he spoke to him) with his usual grace. * I need 
not bid you no longer be jealous of me,' said the King; 
* for I presume you will scarce think of a match betwixt 
Alice and me, which would be too losing a one on her 
side. For other thoughts, the wildest libertine could 
not entertain them towards so high-minded a creature; 
and believe me, that my sense of her merit did not need 
this last distinguished proof of her truth and loyalty. I 
saw enough of her from her answers to some idle sallies of 
gallantry, to know with what a lofty character she is en- 
dowed. Mr. Everard, her happiness, I see, depends on 
you, and I trust you will be the careful guardian of it. If 
we can take any obstacle out of the way of your joint 



happiness, be assured we will use our influence. Fare- 
well, sir; if we cannot be better friends, do not at least 
let us entertain harder or worse thoughts of each other 
than we have now.' 

There was something in the manner of Charles that 
was extremely affecting; something, too, in his condition 
as a fugitive in the kingdom which was his own by in- 
heritance, that made a direct appeal to Everard's bosom, 
though in contradiction to the dictates of that policy 
which he judged it his duty to pursue in the distracted 
circumstances of the country. He remained, as we have 
said, uncovered ; and in his manner testified the highest 
expression of reverence, up to the point when such might 
seem a symbol of allegiance. He bowed so low as almost 
to approach his lips to the hand of Charles, but he did 
not kiss it. 'I would rescue your person, sir,' he said, 
* with the purchase of my own Hfe. More — ' He 
stopped short, and the King took up his sentence where 
it broke off — 'More you cannot do,' said Charles, *to 
maintain an honourable consistency; but what you have 
said is enough. You cannot render homage to my prof- 
fered hand as that of a sovereign, but you will not pre- 
vent my taking yours as a friend, if you allow me to call 
myself so — I am sure, as a well-wisher at least.' 

The generous soul of Everard was touched. He took 
the King's hand and pressed it to his lips. 

*0h!' he said, 'were better times to come — ' 

'Bind yourself to nothing, dear Everard,' said the 
good-natured prince, partaking his emotion. 'We rea- 
son ill while our feelings are moved. I will recruit no 
man to his loss, nor will I have my fallen fortunes in- 
volve those of others, because they have humanity enough 



to pity my present condition. If better times come, why, 
we will meet again, and I hope to our mutual satisfac- 
tion. If not, as your future father-in-law would say (a 
benevolent smile came over his face, and accorded not 
unmeetly with his glistening eyes) — if not, this parting 
was well made.' 

Everard turned away with a deep bow, almost chok- 
ing under contending feelings, the uppermost of which 
was a sense of the generosity with which Charles, at his 
own imminent risk, had cleared away the darkness that 
seemed about to overwhelm his prospects of happiness 
for Hfe, mixed with a deep sense of the perils by which 
he was environed. He returned to the little town, fol- 
lowed by his attendant Wildrake, who turned back so 
often, with weeping eyes and hands clasped and uplifted 
as supplicating Heaven, that Everard was obliged to re- 
mind hun that his gestures might be observed by some 
one, and occasion suspicion. 

The generous conduct of the King during the closing 
part of this remarkable scene had not escaped Alice's 
notice; and, erasing at once from her mind all resent- 
ment of Charles's former conduct, and all the suspicions 
they had deservedly excited, awakened in her bosom a 
sense of the natural goodness of his disposition, which 
permitted her to unite regard for his person with that 
reverence for his high office in which she had been edu- 
cated as a portion of her creed. She felt convinced, and 
delighted with the conviction, that his virtues were his 
own, his Ubertinism the fault of education, or rather 
want of education, and the corrupting advice of syco- 
phants and flatterers. She could not know, or perhaps 
did not in that moment consider, that, in a soil where no 



care is taken to eradicate tares, they will outgrow and 
smother the wholesome seed, even if the last is more 
natural to the soil. For, as Dr. Rochecliffe informed her 
afterwards for her edification — promising, as was his 
custom, to explain the precise words on some future occa- 
sion, if she would put him in mind — Virtus rectorem 
ducemque desiderat; vitia sine magistro discuntur} 

There was no room for such reflections at present. 
Conscious of mutual sincerity, by a sort of intellectual 
communication, through which individuals are led to 
understand each other better, perhaps, in delicate cir- 
cumstances than by words, reserve and simulation ap- 
peared to be now banished from the intercourse between 
the King and Alice. With manly frankness, and, at the 
same time, with princely condescension, he requested her, 
exhausted as she was, to accept of his arm on the way 
homeward, instead of that of Dr. Rochecliffe; and Alice 
accepted of his support with modest humility, but with- 
out a shadow of mistrust or fear. It seemed as if the last 
half-hour had satisfied them perfectly with the charac- 
ter of each other, and that each had full conviction of 
the purity and sincerity of the other's intentions. 

Dr. Rochecliffe, in the meantime, had fallen some four 
or five paces behind ; for, less light and active than Alice 
(who had, besides, the assistance of the King's support), 
he was unable, without effort and difficulty, to keep up 
with the pace of Charles, who then was, as we have else- 
where noticed, one of the best walkers in England, and 
was sometimes apt to forget (as great men will) that 
others were inferior to him in activity. 

'Dear Alice,' said the King, but as if the epithet were 

^ See Note 4. 


entirely fraternal, 'I like your Everard much. I would 
to God he were of our determination; but since that can- 
not be, I am sure he will prove a generous enemy.' 

'May it please you, sire,' said Alice, modestly, but 
with some firmness, 'my cousin will never be your 
Majesty's personal enemy; and he is one of the few on 
whose slightest word you may rely more than on the 
oath of those who profess more strongly and formally. 
He is utterly incapable of abusing your Majesty's most 
generous and voluntary confidence.' 

'On my honour, I believe so, Alice,' repHed the King. 
*But, odds-fish! my girl, let Majesty sleep for the pres- 
ent: it concerns my safety, as I told your brother lately. 
Call me "sir," then, which belongs alike to king, peer, 
knight, and gentleman, or rather let me be wild Louis 
Kerneguy again.' 

Alice looked down and shook her head. 'That cannot 
be, please your Majesty.' 

'What! Louis was a saucy companion — a naughty, 
presuming boy — and you cannot abide him? Well, 
perhaps you are right. But we will wait for Dr. Roche- 
cliffe,' he said, desirous, with good-natured delicacy, to 
make Alice aware that he had no purpose of engaging 
her in any discussion which could recall painful ideas. 
They paused accordingly, and again she felt relieved 
and grateful. 

'I cannot persuade our fair friend, Mistress Alice, 
Doctor,' said the King, ' that she must, in prudence, for- 
bear using titles of respect to me while there are such 
very slender means of sustaining them.' 

'It is a reproach to earth and to fortune,' answered 
the divine, as fast as his recovered breath would permit 




him, ' that your most sacred Majesty's present condition 
should not accord with the rendering of those honours 
which are your own by birth, and which, with God's 
blessing on the efforts of your loyal subjects, I hope to 
see rendered to you as your hereditary right by the uni- 
versal voice of the three kingdoms.' 

'True, Doctor,' replied the King; 'but, in the mean- 
while, can you expound to Mistress Alice Lee two lines 
of Horace, which I have carried in my thick head several 
years, till now they have come pat to my purpose. As 
my canny subjects of Scotland say. If you keep a thing 
seven years, you are sure to find a use for it at last. 
Telephus — ay, so it begins — 

Telephus et Peleus, cum pauper et exul uterque, 
Projicit ampullas et sesquipedalia verba.' 

*I will explain the passage to Mistress Alice,' said the 
Doctor, 'when she reminds me of it; or rather,' he added, 
recollecting that his ordinary dilatory answer on such 
occasions ought not to be returned when the order for 
exposition emanated from his sovereign, *I will repeat 
a poor couplet from my own translation of the poem — 

Heroes and kings, in exile forced to roam, 

Leave swelling phrase and seven-leagued words at home.' 

*A most admirable version, Doctor,' said Charles. 'I 
feel all its force, and particularly the beautiful rendering 
of sesquipedalia verba into seven-leagued boots — words, 
I mean: it reminds me, like half the things I meet with 
in this world, of the " Contes de Commere I'Oye." '^ 

Thus conversing, they reached the lodge; and as the 
King went to his chamber to prepare for the breakfast 
summons, now impending, the idea crossed his mind, 

^ Tales oj Mother Goose. 


* Wilmot, and Villiers, and Killigrew would laugh at me, 
did they hear of a campaign in which neither man nor 
woman had been conquered. But, odds-fish! let them 
laugh as they will, there is something at my heart which 
tells me that for once in my Hfe I have acted well.' 

That day and the next were spent in tranquillity, the 
King waiting impatiently for the intelligence which was 
to announce to him that a vessel was prepared some- 
where on the coast. None such was yet in readiness; but 
he learned that the indefatigable Albert Lee was, at 
great personal risk, traversing the sea-coast from town to 
village, and endeavouring to find means of embarkation 
among the friends of the Royal cause and the corre- 
spondents of Dr. Rocheclifi^e. 


Ruffian, let go that rude uncivil touch. 

Two Gentlemen of Verona. 

It is time we should give some account of the other ac- 
tors in our drama, the interest due to the principal per- 
sonages having for some time engrossed our attention 

We are, therefore, to inform the reader that the lin- 
gering longings of the Commissioners, who had been 
driven forth of their proposed paradise of Woodstock, 
not by a cherub indeed, but, as they thought, by spirits 
of another sort, still detained them in the vicinity. 
They had, indeed, left the little borough under pretence 
of indifferent accommodation. The more palpable rea- 
sons were, that they entertained some resentment 
against Everard, as the means of their disappointment, 
and had no mind to reside where their proceedings could 
be overlooked by him, although they took leave in 
terms of the utmost respect. They went, however, no 
farther than Oxford, and remained there, as ravens, who 
are accustomed to witness the chase, sit upon a tree or 
crag, at a Uttle distance, and watch the disembowelling 
of the deer, expecting the relics which fall to their share. 
Meantime, the university and city, but especially the 
former, supplied them with some means of employing 
their various faculties to advantage, until the expected 
moment when, as they hoped, they should either be 



summoned to Windsor, or Woodstock should once more 
be abandoned to their discretion. 

Bletson, to pass the time, vexed the souls of such 
learned and pious divines and scholars as he could in- 
trude his hateful presence upon, by sophistry, atheistical 
discourse, and challenges to them to impugn the most 
scandalous theses. Desborough, one of the most brutally 
ignorant men of the period, got himself nominated the 
head of a college, and lost no time in cutting down trees 
and plundering plate. As for Harrison, he preached in 
full uniform in St. Mary's Church, wearing his buflf-coat, 
boots, and spurs, as if he were about to take the field 
for the fight at Armageddon. And it was hard to say 
whether that seat of learning, reUgion, and loyalty, as it 
is called by Clarendon, was more vexed by the rapine of 
Desborough, the cold scepticism of Bletson, or the fran- 
tic enthusiasm of the Fifth Monarchy champion. 

Ever and anon, soldiers, under pretence of relieving 
guard, or otherwise, went and came betwixt Woodstock 
and Oxford, and maintained, it may be supposed, a 
correspondence with Trusty Tomkins, who, though he 
chiefly resided in the town of Woodstock, visited the 
lodge occasionally, and to whom, therefore, they doubt- 
less trusted for information concerning the proceedings 

Indeed, this man Tomkins seemed by some secret 
means to have gained the confidence in part, if not in 
whole, of almost every one connected with these in- 
trigues. All closeted him, all conversed with him in 
private; those who had the means propitiated him with 
gifts, those who had not were Uberal of promises. When 
he chanced to appear at Woodstock, which always 



seemed as it were by accident, if he passed through the 
hall, the knight was sure to ask him to take the foils, and 
was equally certain to be, after less or more resistance, 
victorious in the encounter; so, in consideration of so 
many triumphs, the good Sir Henry almost forgave him 
the sins of rebellion and Puritanism. Then, if his slow 
and formal step was heard in the passages approaching 
the gallery, Dr. Rochecliffe, though he never introduced 
him to his peculiar boudoir, was sure to meet Mas- 
ter Tomkins in some neutral apartment, and to engage 
him in long conversations, which apparently had great 
interest for both. 

Neither was the Independent's reception below-stairs 
less gracious than above. Joceline failed not to welcome 
him with the most cordial frankness; the pasty and the 
flagon were put in immediate requisition, and good cheer 
was the general word. The means for this, it may be 
observed, had grown more plenty at Woodstock since 
the arrival of Dr. Rochecliffe, who, in quality of agent 
for several Royalists, had various sums of money at his 
disposal. By these funds it is likely that Trusty Tom- 
kins also derived his own full advantage. 

In his occasional indulgence in what he called a fleshly 
frailty (and for which he said he had a privilege), which 
was in truth an attachment to strong liquors, and that 
in no moderate degree, his language, at other times 
remarkably decorous and reserved, became wild and 
animated. He sometimes talked with all the unction of 
an old debauchee of former exploits, such as deer- 
stealing, orchard-robbing, drunken gambols, and des- 
perate affrays in which he had been engaged in the 
earUer part of his hfe, sung bacchanalian and amorous 



ditties, dwelt sometimes upon adventures which drove 
Phoebe Mayflower from the company, and penetrated 
even the deaf ears of Dame Jellicot, so as to make the 
buttery in which he held his carousals no proper place 
for the poor old woman. 

In the middle of these wild rants, Tomkins twice or 
thrice suddenly ran into rehgious topics, and spoke 
mysteriously, but with great animation and a rich elo- 
quence, on the happy and preeminent saints, who were 
saints, as he termed them, indeed — men who had 
stormed the inner treasure-house of Heaven, and pos- 
sessed themselves of its choicest jewels. All other sects 
he treated with the utmost contempt, as merely quarrel- 
ling, as he expressed it, like hogs over a trough, about 
husks and acorns; under which derogatory terms he 
included alike the usual rites and ceremonies of public 
devotion, the ordinances of the established churches of 
Christianity, and the observances, nay, the forbear- 
ances, enjoined by every class of Christians. Scarcely 
hearing, and not at all understanding, him, Joceline, 
who seemed his most frequent confidant on such occa- 
sions, generally led him back into some strain of rude 
mirth, or old recollection of follies before the Civil Wars, 
without caring about or endeavouring to analyse the 
opinion of this saint of an evil fashion, but fully sensible 
of the protection which his presence afforded at Wood- 
stock, and confident in the honest meaning of so free- 
spoken a fellow, to whom ale and brandy, when better 
liquor was not to be come by, seemed to be principal 
objects of life, and who drank a health to the King, or any 
one else, whenever required, provided the cup in which 
he was to perform the libation were but a brimmer. 



These peculiar doctrines, which were entertained by a 
sect sometimes termed the Family of Love, but more 
commonly Ranters,^ had made some progress in times 
when such variety of religious opinions were prevalent, 
that men pushed the jarring heresies to the verge of 
absolute and most impious insanity. Secrecy had been 
enjoined on these frantic behevers in a most blasphem- 
ous doctrine, by the fear of consequences, should they 
come to be generally announced ; and it was the care of 
Mr. Tomkins to conceal the spiritual freedom which he 
pretended to have acquired from all whose resentment 
would have been stirred by his public avowal of it. This 
was not difficult; for their profession of faith permitted, 
nay, required, their occasional conformity with the 
sectaries or professors of any creed which chanced to be 

Tomkins had accordingly the art to pass himself on 
Dr. Rochecliffe as still a zealous member of the Church 
of England, though serving under the enemy's colours, 
as a spy in their camp ; and as he had on several times 
given him true and valuable intelligence, this active 
intriguer was the more easily induced to believe his 

Nevertheless, lest this person's occasional presence at 
the lodge, which there were perhaps no means to prevent 
without exciting suspicion, should infer danger to the 
King's person, Rochecliffe, whatever confidence he 
otherwise reposed in him, recommended that, if possible, 
the King should keep always out of his sight, and when 
accidentally discovered, that he should only appear in 
the character of Louis Kemeguy. Joseph Tomkins, he 

* See Note 5. 


said, was, he really believed, Honest Joe; but honesty 
was a horse which might be overburdened, and there was 
no use in leading our neighbour into temptation. 

It seemed as if Tomkins himself had acquiesced in 
this limitation of confidence exercised towards him, or 
that he wished to seem blinder than he really was to the 
presence of this stranger in the family. It occurred to 
Joceline, who was a very shrewd fellow, that once or 
twice, when by inevitable accident Tomkins had met 
Kemeguy, he seemed less interested in the circumstance 
than he would have expected from the man's disposition, 
which was naturally prying and inquisitive. ' He asked 
no questions about the young stranger,' said Joceline. 
'God avert that he knows or suspects too much!' But 
his suspicions were removed when, in the course of their 
subsequent conversation, Joseph Tomkins mentioned 
the King's escape from Bristol as a thing positively cer- 
tain, and named both the vessel in which he said he had 
gone off and the master who commanded her, seeming 
so convinced of the truth of the report, that Joceline 
judged it impossible he could have the slightest sus- 
picion of the reality. 

Yet, notwithstanding this persuasion, and the com- 
radeship which had been established between them, the 
faithful underkeeper resolved to maintain a strict watch 
over his gossip Tomkins, and be in readiness to give the 
alarm should occasion arise. True, he thought, he had 
reason to believe that his said friend, notwithstanding 
his drunken and enthusiastic rants, was as trustworthy 
as he was esteemed by Dr. Rochecliffe; yet still he was 
an adventurer, the outside and lining of whose cloak 
were of different colours, and a high reward, and pardon 
38 209 


for past acts of malignancy, might tempt him once 
more to turn his tippet. For these reasons Joceline kept 
a strict, though unostentatious, watch over Trusty 

We have said that the discreet seneschal was univers- 
ally well received at Woodstock, whether in the borough 
or at the lodge, and that even JoceHne Joliffe was anx- 
ious to conceal any suspicions which he could not alto- 
gether repress under a great show of cordial hospitality. 
There were, however, two individuals who, for very 
different reasons, nourished personal dislike against the 
individual so generally acceptable. 

One was Nehemiah Holdenough, who remembered 
with great bitterness of spirit the Independent's violent 
intrusion into his pulpit, and who ever spoke of him in 
private as a lying missionary, into whom Satan had put 
a spirit of delusion; and preached, besides, a solemn ser- 
mon on the subject of the false prophet, out of whose 
mouth came frogs. The discourse was highly prized by 
the Mayor and most of the better class, who conceived 
that their minister had struck a heavy blow at the very 
root of Independency. On the other hand, those of the 
private spirit contended, that Joseph Tomkins had made 
a successful and triumphant rally, in an exhortation on 
the evening of the same day, in which he proved, to the 
conviction of many handicraftsmen, that the passage in 
Jeremiah, 'The prophets prophesy falsely, and the 
priests bear rule by their means,' was directly applicable 
to the Presbyterian system of church government. The 
clergyman despatched an accoimt of his adversary's 
conduct to the Reverend Master Edwards, to be inserted 
in the next edition of ' Gangraena,' as a pestilent heretic; 



and Tomkins recommended the parson to his master, 
Desborough, as a good subject on whom to impose a 
round fine, for vexing the private spirit; assuring him, at 
the same time, that, though the minister might seem 
poor, yet, if a few troopers were quartered on him till 
the fine was paid, every rich shopkeeper's wife in the 
borough would rob the till, rather than go without the 
mammon of unrighteousness with which to redeem their 
priest from sufferance, holding, according to his expres- 
sion, with Laban, 'You have taken from me my gods, 
and what have I more?' There was, of course, little 
cordiality between the polemical disputants, when reli- 
gious debate took so worldly a turn. 

But Joe Tomkins was much more concerned at the 
evil opinion which seemed to be entertained against him 
by one whose good graces he was greatly more desirous 
to obtain than those of Nehemiah Holdenough. This 
was no other than pretty Mistress Phoebe Mayflower, 
for whose conversion he had felt a strong vocation ever 
since his lecture upon Shakespeare on their first meeting 
at the lodge. He seemed desirous, however, to carry on 
this more serious work in private, and especially to con- 
ceal his labours from his friend Joceline Joliffe, lest, per- 
chance, he had been addicted to jealousy. But it was in 
vain that he plied the faithful damsel, sometimes with 
verses from the Canticles, sometimes with quotations 
from Green's 'Arcadia,' or pithy passages from 'Venus 
and Adonis,' and doctrines of a nature yet more abstruse, 
from the popular work entitled 'Aristotle's Masterpiece.* 
Unto no wooing of his, sacred or profane, metaphysical 
or physical, would Phoebe Mayflower seriously incline. 

The maiden loved Joceline Joliffe, on the one hand; 



and, on the other, if she disliked Joseph Tomkins when 
she first saw him, as a rebellious Puritan, she had not 
been at all reconciled by finding reason to regard him as 
a hypocritical libertine. She hated him in both capaci- 
ties, never endured his conversation when she could 
escape from it, and when obUged to remain, listened to 
him only because she knew he had been so deeply 
trusted, that to offend him might endanger the security 
of the family in the service of which she had been born 
and bred up, and to whose interest she was devoted. 
For reasons somewhat similar, she did not suffer her 
dislike of the steward to become manifest before Joceline 
JoHffe, whose spirit, as a forester and a soldier, might 
have been likely to bring matters to an arbitrement, in 
which the couteau de chasse and quarter-staff of her 
favourite would have been too unequally matched with 
the long rapier and pistols which his dangerous rival al- 
ways carried about his person. But it is difficult to blind 
jealousy when there is any cause of doubt; and perhaps 
the sharp watch maintained by Joceline on his comrade 
was prompted not only by his zeal for the King's safety, 
but by some vague suspicion that Tomkins was not ill- 
disposed to poach upon his own fair manor. 

Phoebe, in the meanwhile, like a prudent girl, shel- 
tered herself as much as possible by the presence of 
Goody Jellicot. Then, indeed, it is true, the Independ- 
ent, or whatever he was, used to follow her with his 
addresses to very little purpose; for Phoebe seemed as 
deaf, through wilfulness, as the old matron by natural 
infirmity. This indifference highly incensed her new 
lover, and induced him anxiously to watch for a time and 
place in which he might plead his suit with an energy 



that should command attention. Fortune, that mali- 
cious goddess, who so often ruins us by granting the 
very object of our vows, did at length procure him such 
an opportunity as he had long coveted. 

It was about sunset, or shortly after, when Phoebe, 
upon whose activity much of the domestic arrangements 
depended, went as far as Fair Rosamond's spring to 
obtain water for the evening meal, or rather to gratify 
the prejudice of the old knight, who believed that cele- 
brated fountain afforded the choicest supplies of the 
necessary element. Such was the respect in which he was 
held by his whole family, that to neglect any of his 
wishes that could be gratified, though with inconven- 
ience to themselves, would, in their estimation, have 
been almost equal to a breach of religious duty. 

To fill the pitcher had, we know, been of late a trouble- 
some task; but Joceline's ingenuity had so far rendered 
it easy, by repairing rudely a part of the ruined front of 
the ancient fountain, that the water was collected, and, 
trickling along a wooden spout, dropped from a height of 
about two feet. A damsel was thereby enabled to place 
her pitcher under the slowly dropping supply, and, 
without toil to herself, might wait till her vessel was 

Phcebe Mayflower, on the evening we allude to, saw, 
for the first time, this Httle improvement; and, justly 
considering it as a piece of gallantry of her silvan ad- 
mirer, designed to save her the trouble of performing her 
task in a more inconvenient manner, she gratefully em- 
ployed the minutes of ease which the contrivance pro- 
cured her, in reflecting on the good-nature and ingenuity 
of the obliging engineer, and perhaps in thinking he 



might have done as wisely to have waited till she came 
to the fountain, that he might have secured personal 
thanks for the trouble he had taken. But then she knew 
he was detained in the buttery with that odious Tom- 
kins, and rather than have seen the Independent along 
with him, she would have renounced the thought of 
meeting Joceline. 

As she was thus reflecting, Fortune was malicious 
enough to send Tomkins to the fountain, and without 
Joceline. When she saw his figure darken the path up 
which he came, an anxious reflection came over the poor 
maiden's breast, that she was alone, and within the 
verge of the forest, where in general persons were pro- 
hibited to come during the twihght, for disturbing the 
deer settling to their repose. She encouraged herself, 
however, and resolved to show no sense of fear, although, 
as the steward approached, there was something in the 
man's look and eye no way calculated to allay her appre- 

'The blessings of the evening upon you, my pretty 
maiden,' he said. *I meet you even as the chief servant 
of Abraham, who was a steward like myself, met Re- 
becca, the daughter of Bethuel, the son of Milcah, at the 
well of the city of Nahor, in Mesopotamia. Shall I not, 
therefore, say to you, " Set down thy pitcher that I may 

'The pitcher is at your service. Master Tomkins,' she 
replied, 'and you may drink as much as you will; but 
you have, I warrant, drank better Hquor, and that not 
long since.' 

It was, indeed, obvious that the steward had arisen 
from a revel, for his features were somewhat flushed, 



though he had stopped far short of intoxication. But 
Phoebe's alarm at his first appearance was rather in- 
creased when she observed how he had been lately- 

*I do but use my privilege, my pretty Rebecca: the 
earth is given to the saints, and the fulness thereof. 
They shall occupy and enjoy it, both the riches of the 
mine and the treasures of the vine; and they shall re- 
joice, and their hearts be merry within them. Thou hast 
yet to learn the privileges of the saints, my Rebecca.' 

*My name is Phoebe,' said the maiden, in order to 
sober the enthusiastic rapture which he either felt or 

'Phoebe after the flesh,' he said, 'but Rebecca being 
spiritualised; for art thou not a wandering and stray 
sheep, and am I not sent to fetch thee within the fold? 
Wherefore else was it said, "Thou shalt find her seated 
by the well, in the wood which is called after the ancient 
harlot, Rosamond"?' 

'You have found me sitting here sure enough,' said 
Phoebe ; ' but if you wish to keep me company, you must 
walk to the lodge with me; and you shall carry my 
pitcher for me, if you will be so kind. I will hear all 
the good things you have to say to me as we go along. 
But Sir Henry calls for his glass of water regularly be- 
fore prayers.' 

'What!' exclaimed Tomkins, 'hath the old man of 
bloody hand and perverse heart sent thee hither to do 
the work of a bondswoman? Verily thou shalt return 
enfranchised; and for the water thou hast drawn for 
him, it shall be poured forth, even as David caused to be 
poured forth the water of the well of Bethelehem.' 



So saying, he emptied the water-pitcher, in spite of 
Phoebe's exclamations and entreaties. He then replaced 
the vessel beneath the little conduit, and continued — 
*Know that this shall be a token to thee. The fiUing of 
that pitcher shall be like the running of a sand-glass; and 
if, within the time which shall pass ere it rises to the 
brim, thou shalt listen to the words which I shall say to 
thee, then it shall be well with thee, and thy place shall 
be high among those who, forsaking the instruction 
which is as milk for babes and sucklings, eat the strong 
food which nourishes manhood. But if the pitcher shall 
overbrim with water ere thy ear shall hear and under- 
stand, thou shalt then be given as a prey, and as a bonds- 
maiden, unto those who shall possess the fat and the fair 
of the earth.' 

'You frighten me. Master Tomkins,' said Phoebe, 
'though I am sure you do not mean to do so. I wonder 
how you dare speak words so Uke the good words in the 
Bible, when you know how you laughed at your own 
master, and all the rest of them, when you helped to play 
the hobgoblins at the lodge.' 

'Think'st thou then, thou simple fool, that, in put- 
ting that deceit upon Harrison and the rest, I exceeded 
my privileges ? Nay, verily. Listen to me, foolish girl. 
When in former days I lived the most wild, malignant 
rakehell in Oxfordshire, frequenting wakes and fairs, 
dancing around Maypoles, and showing my lustihood at 
football and cudgel-playing — yea, when I was called, 
in the language of the uncircumcised, Philip Hazeldine, 
and was one of the singers in the choir, and one of the 
ringers in the steeple, and served the priest yonder, by 
name Rochecliflfe — I was not further from the straight 



road than when, after long reading, I at length found 
one blind guide after another all burners of bricks in 
Egypt. I left them one by one, the poor tool Harrison 
being the last; and by my own unassisted strength I 
have struggled forward to the broad and blessed light, 
whereof thou too, Phoebe, shalt be partaker.' 

*I thank you. Master Tomkins,' said Phoebe, suppress- 
ing some fear under an appearance of indifiference; 'but 
I shall have light enough to carry home my pitcher, 
would you but let me take it, and that is all the want of 
light I shall have this evening.' 

So saying, she stooped to take the pitcher from the 
fountain; but he snatched hold of her by the arm, and 
prevented her from accomplishing her purpose. Phoebe, 
however, was the daughter of a bold forester, prompt at 
thoughts of self-defence; and though she missed getting 
hold of the pitcher, she caught up instead a large pebble, 
which she kept concealed in her right hand. 

'Stand up, foolish maiden, and listen,' said the Inde- 
pendent, sternly; 'and know, in one word, that sin, for 
which the spirit of man is punished with the vengeance 
of Heaven, heth not in the corporal act, but in the 
thought of the sinner. Believe, lovely Phoebe, that to the 
pure all acts are pure, and that sin is in our thought, not 
in our actions, even as the radiance of the day is dark to 
a blind man, but seen and enjoyed by him whose eyes 
receive it. To him who is but a novice in the things of 
the spirit, much is enjoined, much is prohibited, and he 
is fed with milk fit for babes; for him are ordinances, 
prohibitions, and commands. But the saint is above 
these ordinances and restraints. To him, as to the 
chosen child of the house, is given the pass-key to open 



all locks which withhold him from the enjoyment of 
his heart's desire. Into such pleasant paths will I guide 
thee, lovely Phoebe, as shall unite in joy, in innocent 
freedom, pleasures which, to the unprivileged, are sin- 
ful and prohibited.' 

'I really wish, Master Tomkins, you would let me go 
home,' said Phoebe, not comprehending the nature of his 
doctrine, but disliking at once his words and his manner. 
He went on, however, with the accursed and blasphem- 
ous doctrines which, in common with others of the 
pretended saints, he had adopted, after having long 
shifted from one sect to another, until he settled in the 
vile belief that sin, being of a character exclusively spir- 
itual, only existed in the thoughts, and that the worst 
actions were permitted to those who had attained to the 
pitch of believing themselves above ordinance. 'Thus, 
my Phoebe,' he continued, endeavouring to draw her to- 
wards him, ' I can offer thee more than ever was held out 
to woman since Adam first took his bride by the hand. 
It shall be for others to stand dry-lipped, doing penance, 
like Papists, by abstinence, when the vessel of pleasure 
pours forth its delights. Dost thou love money? I have 
it, and can procure more — am at hberty to procure it 
on every hand and by every means: the earth is mine 
and its fulness. Do you desire power? Which of these 
poor cheated commissioner fellows' estates dost thou 
covet, I will work it out for thee; for I deal with a might- 
ier spirit than any of them. And it is not without war- 
rant that I have aided the Malignant Rochecliffe and 
the clown Joliffe to frighten and baffle them in the guise 
they did. Ask what thou wilt, Phoebe, I can give, or I 
can procure it for thee. Then enter with me into a Ufe 



of delight in this world, which shall prove but an anti- 
cipation of the joys of Paradise hereafter!' 

Again the fanatical voluptuary endeavoured to pull 
the poor girl towards him, while she, alarmed, but not 
scared out of her presence of mind, endeavoured, by fair 
entreaty, to prevail on him to release her. But his fea- 
tures, in themselves not marked, had acquired a fright- 
ful expression, and he exclaimed, 'No, Phoebe, do not 
think to escape: thou art given to me as a captive; thou 
hast neglected the hour of grace, and it has glided past. 
See, the water trickles over thy pitcher, which was to be 
a sign between us. Therefore I will urge thee no more 
with words, of which thou art not worthy, but treat thee 
as a recusant of offered grace.' 

'Master Tomkins,' said Phoebe, in an imploring tone, 
'consider, for God's sake, I am a fatherless child; do me 
no injury, it would be a shame to your strength and your 
manhood. I cannot understand your fine words — I 
will think on them till to-morrow.' Then, in rising re- 
sentment, she added more vehemently, 'I will not be 
used rudely; stand off, or I will do you a mischief.' But, 
as he pressed upon her with a violence of which the object 
could not be mistaken, and endeavoured to secure her 
right hand, she exclaimed, 'Take it, then, with a wanion 
to you ! ' and struck him an almost stunning blow on the 
face with the pebble which she held ready for such an 

The fanatic let her go, and staggered backward, half 
stupefied ; while Phoebe instantly betook herself to flight, 
screaming for help as she ran, but still grasping the vic- 
torious pebble. Irritated to frenzy by the severe blow 
which he had received, Tomkins pursued, with every 



black passion in his soul and in his face, mingled with 
fear lest his villainy should be discovered. He called on 
Phoebe loudly to stop, and had the brutality to menace 
her with one of his pistols if she continued to fly. Yet 
she slackened not her pace for his threats, and he must 
either have executed them, or seen her escape to carry 
the tale to the lodge, had she not unhappily stumbled 
over the projecting root of a fir-tree. 

But, as he rushed upon his prey, rescue interposed in 
the person of Joceline Joliffe, with his quarter-staff on 
his shoulder. *How now! what means this?' he said, 
stepping between Phoebe and her pursuer. Tomkins, al- 
ready roused to fury, made no other answer than by dis- 
charging at Joceline the pistol which he held in his hand. 
The ball grazed the under-keeper's face, who, in re- 
quital of the assault, and saying, 'Aha! let ash answer 
iron,' applied his quarter-staff with so much force to the 
Independent's head, that, lighting on the left temple, 
the blow proved almost instantly mortal. 

A few convulsive struggles were accompanied with 
these broken words, 'Joceline — I am gone — but I 
forgive thee. Dr. RochecHffe — I wish I had minded 
more — Oh! the clergyman — the funeral- service — ' 
As he uttered these words, indicative, it may be, of his 
return to a creed which perhaps he had never abjured so 
thoroughly as he had persuaded himself, his voice was 
lost in a groan, which, rattling in the throat, seemed un- 
able to find its way to the air. These were the last symp- 
toms of hfe: the clenched hands presently relaxed, the 
closed eyes opened and stared on the heavens a lifeless 
jelly, the limbs extended themselves and stiffened. The 
body, which was lately animated with life, was now a 



lump of senseless clay; the soul, dismissed from its 
earthly tenement in a moment so imhallowed, was gone 
before the judgment-seat. 

'Oh, what have you done — what have you done, 
Joceline?' exclaimed Phoebe; 'you have killed the man! ' 

'Better than he should have killed me/ answered Joce- 
line; 'for he was none of the blinkers that miss their mark 
twice running. And yet I am sorry for him. IMany a 
merry bout have we had together when he was wild 
Philip Hazeldine, and then he was bad enough; but since 
he daubed over his vices with h>^ocrisy, he seems to 
have proved worse devil than ever.' 

*0h, Joceline, come away,' said poor Phoebe, 'and do 
not stand gazing on him thus ' ; for the woodman, resting 
on his fatal weapon, stood looking down on the corpse 
with the appearance of a man half-stunned at the event. 

'This comes of the ale-pitcher,' she continued, in the 
true style of female consolation, 'as I have often told 
you. For Heaven's sake, come to the lodge, and let us 
consult what is to be done.' 

'Stay first, girl, and let me drag him out of the path: 
we must not have him He here in all men's sight. Will 
you not help me, wench? ' 

'I cannot, Joceline. I would not touch a lock on him 
for all Woodstock.' 

'I must to this gear myself, then,' said Joceline, who, 
a soldier as well as a woodsman, still had great reluct- 
ance to the necessary task. Something in the face and 
broken words of the dying man had made a deep and 
terrific impression on nerves not easily shaken. He ac- 
complished it, however, so far as to drag the late steward 
out of the open path, and bestow his body amongst the 



undergrowth of brambles and briers, so as not to be vis- 
ible unless particularly looked after. He then returned 
to Phoebe, who had sate speechless all the while beneath 
the tree over whose roots she had stumbled. 

'Come away, wench,' he said — 'come away to the 
lodge, and let us study how this is to be answered for: 
the mishap of his being killed will strangely increase our 
danger. What had he sought of thee, wench, when you 
ran from him like a mad woman? But I can guess: Phil 
was always a devil among the girls, and I think, as Dr. 
Rochechffe says, that, since he turned saint, he took to 
himself seven devils worse than himself. Here is the very 
place where I saw him with his sword in his hand raised 
against the old knight, and he a child of the parish. It 
was high treason at least; but, by my faith, he hath paid 
for it at last.' 

'But, oh, Joceline,' said Phcebe, 'how could you take 
so wicked a man into your council, and join him in all 
his plots about scaring the Roundhead gentlemen?' 

'Why, look thee, wench, I thought I knew him at the 
first meeting, especially when Bevis, who was bred here 
when he was a dog-leader, would not fly at him; and 
when we made up our old acquaintance at the lodge, I 
found he kept up a close correspondence with Dr. Roche- 
cliffe, who was persuaded that he was a good king's-man, 
and held consequently good intelligence with him. The 
Doctor boasts to have learned much through his means; 
I wish to Heaven he may not have been as commun- 
icative in turn,' 

'Oh, Joceline,' said the waiting-woman, 'you should 
never have let him within the gate of the lodge!' 

'No more I would, if I had known how to keep him 



out ; but when he went so frankly into our scheme, and 
told me how I was to dress myself like Robinson the 
player, whose ghost haunted Harrison — I wish no 
ghost may haunt me! — when he taught me how to bear 
myself to terrify his lawful master, what could I think, 
wench? I only trust the Doctor has kept the great se- 
cret of all from his knowledge. But here we are at the 
lodge. Go to thy chamber, wench, and compose thyself. 
I must seek out Dr. Rochecliffe. He is ever talking of 
his quick and ready invention; here come times, I think, 
that will demand it all.' 

Phoebe went to her chamber accordingly; but the 
strength arising from the pressure of danger giving 
way when the danger was removed, she quickly fell into 
a succession of hysterical fits, which required the con- 
stant attention of Dame Jellicot, and the less alarmed, 
but more judicious, care of Mrs. Alice, before they even 
abated in their rapid recurrence. 

The under-keeper carried his news to the politic Doc- 
tor, who was extremely disconcerted, alarmed, nay, an- 
gry with Joceline for having slain a person on whose 
communications he had accustomed himself to rely. Yet 
his looks declared his suspicion whether his confidence 
had not been too rashly conferred — a suspicion which 
pressed him the more anxiously, that he was unwilling 
to avow it, as a derogation from his character for shrewd- 
ness on which he valued himself. 

Dr. Rochecliffe's reliance, however, on the fidelity of 
Tomkins had apparently good grounds. Before the 
Civil Wars, as may be partly collected from what has 
been already hinted at, Tomkins, under his true name of 
Hazeldine, had been under the protection of the rector 



of Woodstock, occasionally acted as his clerk, was a dis- 
tinguished member of his choir, and, being a handy and 
ingenious fellow, was employed in assisting the anti- 
quarian researches of Dr. Rochecliffe through the inte- 
rior of Woodstock. When he engaged on the opposite 
side in the Civil Wars, he still kept up his intelligence 
with the divine, to whom he had afforded what seemed 
valuable information from time to time. His assistance 
had latterly been eminently useful in aiding the Doctor, 
with the assistance of Joceline and Phoebe, in contriving 
and executing the various devices by which the ParHa- 
mentary Commissioners had been expelled from Wood- 
stock. Indeed, his services in this respect had been 
thought worthy of no less a reward than a present of 
what plate remained at the lodge, which had been pro- 
mised to the Independent accordingly. The Doctor, 
therefore, while admitting he might be a bad man, re- 
gretted him as a useful one, whose death, if inquired 
after, was Hkely to bring additional danger on a house 
which danger already surrounded, and which contained 
a pledge so precious. 


Cassio. That thrust had been mine enemy indeed, 
But that my coat is better than thou know'st. 


On the dark October night succeeding the evening on 
which Tomkins was slain, Colonel Everard, besides his 
constant attendant Roger Wildrake, had Master Nehe- 
miah Holdenough with him as a guest at supper. The 
devotions of the evening having been performed accord- 
ing to the Presbyterian fashion, a light entertainment, 
and a double quart of burnt claret, were placed before 
his friends at nine o'clock, an hour unusually late. Mas- 
ter Holdenough soon engaged himself in a polemical 
discourse against sectaries and Independents, without 
being aware that his eloquence was not very interesting 
to his principal hearer, whose ideas in the meanwhile 
wandered to Woodstock and all which it contained — 
the Prince, who lay concealed there, his uncle, above all, 
Alice Lee. As for Wildrake, after bestowing a mental 
curse both on sectaries and Presbyterians, as being, 
in his opinion, never a barrel the better herring, he 
stretched out his limbs, and would probably have com- 
posed himself to rest, but that he as well as his patron 
had thoughts which murdered sleep. 

The party were waited upon by a little gipsy-looking 

boy, in an orange-tawny doublet, much decayed, and 

garnished with blue worsted lace. The rogue looked 

somewhat stinted in size, but active both in intelligence 

38 225 


and in limb, as his black eyes seemed to promise by 
their vivacity. He was an attendant of Wildrake's 
choice, who had conferred on him the nom de guerre of 
Spitfire, and had promised him promotion so soon as his 
young protege, Breakfast, was fit to succeed him in his 
present office. It need scarce be said, that the menage 
was maintained entirely at the expense of Colonel Ever- 
ard, who allowed Wildrake to arrange the household 
very much according to his pleasure. The page did not 
omit, in offering the company wine from time to time, 
to accommodate Wildrake with about twice the num- 
ber of opportunities of refreshing himself which he 
considered it necessary to afford to the colonel or his 
reverend guest. 

While they were thus engaged, the good divine lost 
in his own argument and the hearers in their private 
thoughts, their attention was about half-past ten ar- 
rested by a knocking at the door of the house. To those 
who have anxious hearts, trifles give cause of alarm. 
Even a thing so simple as a knock at the door may have 
a character which excites apprehension. This was no 
quiet, gentle tap, intimating a modest intruder; no re- 
doubled rattle, as the pompous armunciation of some 
vain person ; neither did it resemble the formal summons 
to formal business, nor the cheerful visit of some wel- 
come friend. It was a single blow, solemn and stem, if 
not actually menacing, in the sound. 

The door was opened by some of the persons of the 
house ; a heavy foot ascended the stair, a stout man en- 
tered the room, and, drawing the cloak from his face, 
said, 'Markham Everard, I greet thee in God's name.' 

It was General Cromwell. 



Everard, surprised and taken at unawares, endeav- 
oured in vain to find words to express his astonishment. 
A bustle occurred in receiving the General, assisting him 
to uncloak himself, and offering in dumb show the civil- 
ities of reception. 

The General cast his keen eye around the apartment, 
and fixing it first on the divine, addressed Everard as 
follows: — 

*A reverend man I see is with thee. Thou art not one 
of those, good Markham, who let the time unnoted and 
unimproved pass away. Casting aside the things of this 
world, pressing forward to those of the next, it is by thus 
using our time in this poor seat of terrestrial sin and care 
that we may, as it were — But how is this? ' he con- 
tinued, suddenly changing his tone, and speaking briefly, 
sharply, and anxiously — 'one hath left the room since 
I entered? * 

Wildrake had, indeed, been absent for a minute or two, 
but had now returned, and stepped forward from a bay 
window, as if he had been out of sight only, not out of 
the apartment. 'Not so, sir, I stood but in the back- 
ground out of respect. Noble General, I hope all is well 
with the estate, that your Excellency makes us so late 
a visit? Would not your Excellency choose some — ' 

'Ah!' said Oliver, looking sternly and fixedly at him, 
'our trusty go-between — our faithful confidant. No, 
sir; at present, I desire nothing more than a kind recep- 
tion, which, methinks, my friend Markham Everard is 
in no hurry to give me.' 

'You bring your own welcome, my lord,' said Everard, 
compelling himself to speak. 'I can only trust it was 
no bad news that made your Excellency a late traveller, 



and ask, like my follower, what refreshment I shall com- 
mand for your accommodation.' 

'The state is sound and healthy, Colonel Everard,' 
said the General ; ' and yet the less so, that many of its 
members, who have been hitherto workers together, and 
propounders of good counsel, and advancers of the pub- 
lic weal, have now waxed cold in their love and in their 
affection for the good cause, for which we should be 
ready, in our various degrees, to act and do, so soon as 
we are called to act that whereunto we are appointed, 
neither rashly nor over-slothfully, neither lukewarmly 
nor over-violently, but with such a frame and disposi- 
tion in which zeal and charity may, as it were, meet and 
kiss each other in our streets. Howbeit, because we look 
back after we have put our hand to the plough, there- 
fore is our force waxed dim.' 

'Pardon me, sir,' said Nehemiah Holdenough, who, 
listening with some impatience, began to guess in whose 
company he stood — 'pardon me, for unto this I have a 
warrant to speak.' 

'Ah! ah!' said Cromwell. 'Surely, most worthy sir, 
we grieve the Spirit when we restrain those pourings 
forth, which, like water from a rock — ' 

'Nay, therein I differ from you, sir,' said Holdenough; 
'for, as there is the mouth to transmit the food, and 
the profit to digest what Heaven hath sent, so is the 
preacher ordained to teach, and the people to hear, 
the shepherd to gather the flock into the sheepfold, the 
sheep to profit by the care of the shepherd.' 

'Ah! my worthy sir,' said Cromwell, with much unc- 
tion, 'methinks you verge upon the great mistake which 
supposes that churches are tall, large houses built by 



masons, and hearers are men — wealthy men, who pay 
tithes, the larger as well as the less; and that the priests, 
men in black gowns or grey cloaks, who receive the same 
are in guerdon the only distributors of Christian bless- 
ings. Whereas, in my apprehension, there is more of 
Christian liberty in leaving it to the discretion of the 
hungry soul to seek his edification where it can be found, 
whether from the mouth of a lay teacher, who claimeth 
his warrant from Heaven alone, or at the dispensation 
of those who take ordination and degrees from synods 
and universities, at best but associations of poor sinful 
creatures like themselves.' 

'You speak you know not what, sir,' rephed Hold- 
enough, impatiently. * Can light come out of darkness, 
sense out of ignorance, or knowledge of the mysteries of 
religion from such ignorant mediciners as give poisons 
instead of wholesome medicaments, and cram with filth 
the stomachs of such as seek to them for food?' 

This, which the Presbyterian divine uttered rather 
warmly, the General answered with the utmost mildness. 

*Lack-a-day — lack-a-day ! a learned man, but intem- 
perate: over-zeal hath eaten him up. A well-a-day, sir, 
you may talk of your regular Gospel meals, but a word 
spoken in season by one whose heart is with your heart, 
just perhaps when you are riding on to encounter an 
enemy, or are about to mount a breach, is to the poor 
spirit Hke a rasher on the coals, which the hungry shall 
find preferable to a great banquet, at such times when 
the full soul loatheth the honeycomb. Nevertheless, 
although I speak thus in my poor judgment, I would not 
put force on the conscience of any, leaving to the 
learned to follow the learned, and the wise to be in- 



structed by the wise, while poor, simple, wretched souls 
are not to be denied a drink from the stream which 
runneth by the way. Ay, verily, it will be a comely 
sight in England when men shall go on as in a better 
world, bearing with each other's infirmities, joining in 
each other's comforts. Ay, truly, the rich drink out of 
silver flagons and goblets of silver, the poor out of paltry 
bowls of wood; and even so let it be, since they both 
drink the same element.' 

Here an officer opened the door and looked in, to 
whom Cromwell, exchanging the canting drawl, in which 
it seemed he might have gone on interminably, for the 
short brief tone of action, called out, 'Pearson, is he 

'No, sir,' repHed Pearson; *we have inquired for him 
at the place you noted, and also at other haunts of his 
about the town.' 

*The knave!' said Cromwell, with bitter emphasis; 
* can he have proved false? No — no, his interest is too 
deeply engaged. We shall find him by and by. Hark 
thee hither.' 

While this conversation was going forward, the reader 
must imagine the alarm of Everard. He was certain that 
the personal attendance of Cromwell must be on some 
most important account, and he could not but strongly 
suspect that the General had some information respect- 
ing Charles's lurking-place. If taken, a renewal of the 
tragedy of the Thirtieth of January was instantly to be 
apprehended, and the ruin of the whole family of Lee, 
with himself probably included, must be the necessary 

He looked eagerly for consolation at Wildrake, whose 


countenance expressed much alarm, which he endeav- 
oured to bear out with his usual look of confidence. But 
the weight within was too great: he shuffled with his 
feet, rolled his eyes, and twisted his hands, like an unas- 
sured witness before an acute and not to be deceived 

Oliver, meanwhUe, left his company not a minute's 
leisure to take counsel together. Even while his per- 
plexed eloquence flowed on in a stream so mazy that no 
one could discover which way its course was tending, his 
sharp, watchful eye rendered all attempts of Everard to 
hold communication with Wildrake, even by signs, alto- 
gether vain. Everard, indeed, looked for an instant at 
the window, then glanced at Wildrake, as if to hint 
there might be a possibility to escape that way. But the 
Cavalier had replied with a disconsolate shake of the 
head, so slight as to be almost imperceptible. Everard, 
therefore, lost all hope, and the melancholy feeling of 
approaching and inevitable evil was only varied by 
anxiety concerning the shape and manner in which it 
was about to make its approach. 

But Wildrake had a spark of hope left. The very in- 
stant Cromwell entered he had got out of the room and 
down to the door of the house. * Back — back ! ' repeated 
by two armed sentinels, convinced him that, as his fears 
had anticipated, the General had come neither unat- 
tended nor unprepared. He turned on his heel, ran up- 
stairs, and meeting on the landing-place the boy whom 
he called Spitfire, hurried him into the small apartment 
which he occupied as his own. Wildrake had been 
shooting that morning, and game lay on the table. He 
pulled a feather from a woodcock's wing, and saying 



hastily, 'For thy life, Spitfire, mind my orders. I will 
put thee safe out at the window into the court; the yard 
wall is not high, and there will be no sentry there. Fly to 
the lodge, as thou wouldst win Heaven, and give this 
feather to Mistress Alice Lee, if possible; if not, to 
Joceline Joliffe; say I have won the wager of the young 
lady. Dost mark me, boy?' 

The sharp-witted youth clapped his hand in his mas- 
ter's and only replied, 'Done, and done.' 

Wildrake opened the window, and, though the height 
was considerable, he contrived to let the boy down 
safely by holding his cloak. A heap of straw on which 
Spitfire lighted rendered the descent perfectly safe, and 
Wildrake saw him scramble over the wall of the court- 
yard, at the angle which bore on a back lane; and so 
rapidly was this accomplished, that the Cavalier had 
just reentered the room when, the bustle attending 
Cromwell's arrival subsiding, his own absence began to 
be noticed. 

He remained, during Cromwell's lecture on the vanity 
of creeds, anxious in mind whether he might not have 
done better to send an explicit verbal message, since 
there was no time to write. But the chance of the boy 
being stopped, or becoming confused with feeling him- 
self the messenger of a hurried and important communi- 
cation, made him, on the whole, glad that he had pre- 
ferred a more enigmatical way of conveying the intelli- 
gence. He had, therefore, the advantage of his patron, 
for he was conscious still of a spark of hope. 

Pearson had scarce shut the door, when Holdenough, 
as ready in arms against the future Dictator as he had 
been prompt to encounter the supposed phantoms and 



fiends of Woodstock, resumed his attack upon the 
schismatics, whom he undertook to prove to be at once 
soul-slayers, false brethren, and false messengers; and 
was proceeding to allege texts in behalf of his pro- 
position, when Cromwell, apparently tired of the dis- 
cussion, and desirous to introduce a discourse more 
accordant with his real feelings, interrupted him, 
though very civilly, and took the discourse into his 
own hands. 

*Lack-a-day,' he said, 'the good man speaks truth 
according to his knowledge and to his lights — ay, bitter 
truths, and hard to be digested, while we see as men see, 
and not with the eyes of angels. False messengers, said 
the reverend man? Ay, truly, the world is full of such. 
You shall see them who will carry your secret message 
to the house of your mortal foe, and will say to him, 
"Lo! my master is going forth with a small train, by 
such and such desolate places ; be you speedy, therefore, 
that you may arise and slay him." And another, who 
knoweth where the foe of your house and enemy of your 
person lies hidden, shall, instead of telling his master 
thereof, carry tidings to the enemy even where he lurk- 
eth, saying, "Lo! my master knoweth of your secret 
abode; up, now, and fly, lest he come on thee Hke a lion 
on his prey." But shall this go without punishment?' 
looking at Wildrake with a withering glance. 'Now, as 
my soul liveth, and as He liveth who hath made me a 
ruler in Israel, such false messengers shall be knitted to 
gibbets on the wayside, and their right hands shall be 
nailed above their heads, in an extended position, as if 
pointing out to others the road from which they them- 
selves have strayed.' 



'Surely/ said Master Holdenough, 'it is right to cut 
off such offenders.' 

'Thank ye, Mass John,' muttered Wildrake; 'when 
did the Presbyterian fail to lend the Devil a shove? ' 

'But, I say,' continued Holdenough, 'that the matter 
is estranged from our present purpose, for the false 
brethren of whom I spoke are — * 

'Right, excellent sir, they be those of our own house,' 
answered Cromwell: 'the good man is right once more. 
Ay, of whom can we now say that he is a true brother, 
although he has lain in the same womb with us? Al- 
though we have struggled in the same cause, eat at the 
same table, fought in the same battle, worshipped at the 
same throne, there shall be no truth in him. Ah, Mark- 
ham Everard — Markham Everard!* 

He paused at this ejaculation; and Everard, desirous 
at once of knowing how far he stood committed, replied, 
'Your Excellency seems to have something in your 
mind in which I am concerned. May I request you will 
speak it out, that I may know what I am accused of? ' 

'Ah, Mark — Mark!' replied the General, 'there 
needeth no accuser speak when the still small voice 
speaks within us. Is there not moisture on thy brow, 
Mark Everard? Is there not trouble in thine eye? Is 
there not a failure in thy frame? And who ever saw such 
things in noble and stout Markham Everard, whose 
brow was only moist after having worn the helmet for a 
summer's day, whose hand only shook when it had 
wielded for hours the weighty falchion? But go to, man! 
thou doubtest over-much. Hast thou not been to me as 
a brother, and shall I not forgive thee even the seventy- 
seventh time? The knave hath tarried somewhere, who 



should have done by this time an office of much import. 
Take advantage of his absence, Mark : it is a grace that 
God gives thee beyond expectance. I do not say, fall at 
my feet; but speak to me as a friend to his friend.' 

'1 have never said anything to your Excellency that 
was in the least undeserving the title you have assigned 
to me,' said Colonel Everard, proudly. 

*Nay — nay, Markham,' answered Cromwell; *I say 
not you have. But — but you ought to have remem- 
bered the message I sent you by that person (pointing to 
Wildrake); and you must reconcile it with your con- 
science, how, having such a message, guarded with such 
reasons, you could think yourself at liberty to expel my 
friends from Woodstock, being determined to disappoint 
my object, whilst you availed yourself of the boon on 
condition of which my warrant was issued.' 

Everard was about to reply, when, to his astonish- 
ment, Wildrake stepped forward; and with a voice and 
look very different from his ordinary manner, and ap- 
proaching a good deal to real dignity of mind, said, 
boldly and calmly, 'You are mistaken. Master Crom- 
well, and address yourself to the wrong party here.' 

The speech was so sudden and intrepid, that Cromwell 
stepped a pace back, and motioned with his right hand 
towards his weapon, as if he had expected that an ad- 
dress of a nature so unusually bold was to be followed 
by some act of violence. He instantly resumed his in- 
dififerent posture; and, irritated at a smile which he 
observed on Wildrake's countenance, he said, with the 
dignity of one long accustomed to see all tremble before 
him, 'This to me, fellow! Know you to whom you 
speak? ' 



'Fellow!' echoed Wildrake, whose reckless humour 
was now completely set afloat. 'No fellow of yours, 
Master Oliver. I have known the day when Roger Wild- 
rake of Squattlesea Mere, Lincoln, a handsome young 
gallant, with a good estate, would have been thought no 
fellow of the bankrupt brewer of Huntingdon.' 

'Be silent,' said Everard — 'be silent, Wildrake, if 
you love your Hfe!' 

'I care not a maravedi for my life,' said Wildrake. 
'Zounds, if he dislikes what I say, let him take to his 
tools! I know, after all, he hath good blood in his veins; 
and I will indulge him with a turn in the court yonder, 
had he been ten times a brewer.' 

'Such ribaldry, friend,' said Oliver, 'I treat with the 
contempt it deserves. But if thou hast anything to say 
touching the matter in question, speak out like a man, 
though thou look'st more like a beast.' 

'All I have to say is,' repHed Wildrake, 'that, whereas 
you blame Everard for acting on your warrant, as you 
call it, I can tell you, he knew not a word of the rascally 
conditions you talk of. I took care of that; and you may 
take the vengeance on me, if you list.' 

' Slave ! dare you tell this to me ? ' said Cromwell, still 
heedfully restraining his passion, which he felt was about 
to discharge itself upon an unworthy object. 

'Ay, you will make every Englishman a slave, if you 
have your own way,' said Wildrake, not a whit abashed; 
for the awe which had formerly overcome him when 
alone with this remarkable man had vanished, now that 
they were engaged in an altercation before witnesses. 
'But do your worst, Master Oliver; I tell you before- 
hand, the bird has escaped you.' 



*You dare not say so! Escaped! So, ho! Pearson, tell 
the soldiers to mount instantly. Thou art a lying fool! 
Escaped! Where, or from whence?' 

*Ay, that is the question,' said Wildrake; 'for look 
you, sir, that men do go from hence is certain; but how 
they go, or to what quarter — ' 

Cromwell stood attentive, expecting some useful hint, 
from the careless impetuosity of the Cavalier, upon the 
route which the King might have taken. 

— 'Or to what quarter, as I said before, why, your 
Excellency, Master Oliver, may e'en find that out your- 

As he uttered the last words, he unsheathed his rapier, 
and made a full pass at the General's body. Had his 
sword met no other impediment than the buff jerkin, 
Cromwell's course had ended on the spot. But, fearful 
of such attempts, the General wore under his military 
dress a shirt of the finest mail, made of rings of the best 
steel, and so light and flexible that it was little or no en- 
cumbrance to the motions of the wearer. It proved his 
safety on this occasion, for the rapier sprung in shivers; 
while the owner, now held back by Everard and Hold- 
enough, flung the hilt with passion on the ground, ex- 
claiming, 'Be damned the hand that forged thee! To 
serve me so long, and fail me when thy true service 
would have honoured us both for ever! But no good 
could come of thee, since thou wert pointed, even in jest, 
at a learned divine of the Church of England.' 

In the first instant of alarm, and perhaps suspecting 
Wildrake might be supported by others, Cromwell half 
drew from his bosom a concealed pistol, which he hastily 
returned, observing that both Everard and the clergy- 



man were withholding the Cavalier from another at- 

Pearson and a soldier or two rushed in. * Secure that 
fellow,' said the General, in the indifferent tone of one 
to whom imminent danger was too familiar to cause 
irritation. ' Bind him, but not so hard, Pearson ' ; for the 
men, to show their zeal, were drawing their belts, which 
they used for want of cords, brutally tight round Wild- 
rake's limbs. 'He would have assassinated me, but I 
would reserve him for his fit doom.' 

'Assassinated! I scorn your words. Master Oliver/ 
said Wildrake: 'I proffered you a fair duello.' 

'Shall we shoot him in the street, for an example?' 
said Pearson to Cromwell; while Everard endeavoured 
to stop Wildrake from giving further offence. 

'On your life, harm him not; but let him be kept in 
safe ward, and well looked after,' said Cromwell; while 
the prisoner exclaimed to Everard, 'I prithee let me 
alone. I am now neither thy follower nor any man's, 
and I am as willing to die as ever I was to take a cup of 
Uquor. And harkye, speaking of that, Master OUver, 
you were once a jolly fellow, prithee let one of thy 
lobsters here advance yonder tankard to my lips, and 
your Excellency shall hear a toast, a song, and a — 

'Unloose his head, and hand the debauched beast the 
tankard,' said Oliver; 'while yet he exists, it were shame 
to refuse him the element he lives in.' 

'Blessings on your head for once!' said WUdrake, 
whose object in continuing this wild discourse was, if 
possible, to gain a Httle delay, when every moment was 
precious. 'Thou hast brewed good ale, and that's 



warrant for a blessing. For my toast and my song, here 
they go together — 

Son of a witch, 

Mayst thou die in a ditch, 

With the butchers who back thy quarrels; 
And rot above ground. 
While the world shall resound 

A welcome to Royal King Charles! 

And now for my secret, that you may not say I had your 
liquor for nothing — I fancy my song will scarce pass 
current for much. My secret is, Master Cromwell, that 
the bird is flown, and your red nose will be as white as 
your winding sheet before you can smell out which way.* 

'Pshaw, rascal,' answered Cromwell, contemptuously, 
'keep your scurril jests for the gibbet foot.' 

* I shall look on the gibbet more boldly,' rephed Wild- 
rake, ' than I have seen you look on the Royal Martyr's 

This reproach touched Cromwell to the very quick. 
'Villain!' he exclaimed; 'drag him hence, draw out a 
party, and — But hold, not now — to prison with him; 
let him be close watched, and gagged if he attempts to 
speak to the sentinels. Nay, hold — I mean, put a bottle 
of brandy into his cell, and he will gag himself in his own 
way, I warrant you. When day comes, that men can see 
the example, he shall be gagged after my fashion.' 

During the various breaks in his orders, the General 
was evidently getting command of his temper; and 
though he began in fury, he ended with the contempt- 
uous sneer of one who overlooks the abusive language of 
an inferior. Something remained on his mind notwith- 
standing, for he continued standing, as if fixed to the 
same spot in the apartment, his eyes bent on the ground, 



and with closed hand pressed against his lips, like a man 
who is musing deeply. Pearson, who was about to speak 
to him, drew back, and made a sign to those in the room 
to be silent. 

Master Holdenough did not mark, or, at least, did not 
obey, it. Approaching the General, he said, in a respect- 
ful but firm tone, 'Did I understand it to be your 
Excellency's purpose that this poor man shall die next 

' Hah ! ' exclaimed Cromwell, starting from his reverie, 
'what say'st thou?' 

'I took leave to ask if it was your will that this un- 
happy man should die to-morrow?' 

'Whom saidst thou?' demanded Cromwell. 'Mark- 
ham Everard — shall he die, saidst thou?' 

'God forbid!' repHed Holdenough, stepping back. 'I 
asked whether this blinded creature, Wildrake, was to be 
so suddenly cut off ? ' 

'Ay, marry is he,' said Cromwell, 'were the whole 
General Assembly of Divines at Westminster, the whole 
Sanhedrim of Presbytery, to offer bail for him.' 

'If you will not think better of it, sir,' said Hold- 
enough, 'at least give not the poor man the means of 
destroying his senses. Let me go to him as a divine, to 
watch with him, in case he may yet be admitted into the 
vineyard at the latest hour — yet brought into the 
sheepfold, though he has neglected the call of the pastor 
till time is wellnigh closed upon him.' 

' For God's sake,' said Everard, who had hitherto kept 
silence, because he knew Cromwell's temper on such 
occasions, ' think better of what you do ! ' 
. ' Is it for thee to teach me? ' replied Cromwell. ' Think 



thou of thine own matters, and believe me it will require 
all thy wit. And for you, reverend sir, I will have no 
father-confessors attend my prisoners — no tales out of 
school. If the fellow thirsts after ghostly comfort, as he 
is much more Hke to thirst after a quartern of brandy, 
there is Corporal Humgudgeon, who commands the 
corps de garde, will preach and pray as well as the best of 
ye. But this delay is intolerable; comes not this fellow 

'No, sir,' replied Pearson. 'Had we not better go 
down to the lodge? The news of our coming hither may 
else get there before us.' 

'True,' said Cromwell, speaking aside to his officer, 
'but you know Tomkins warned us against doing so, 
alleging there were so many postern-doors, and sally- 
ports, and concealed entrances in the old house, that it 
was like a rabbit-warren, and that an escape might be 
easily made under our very noses, unless he were with 
us, to point out all the ports which should be guarded. 
He hinted, too, that he might be delayed a few minutes 
after his time of appointment ; but we have now waited 
half an hour.' 

' Does your Excellency think Tomkins is certainly to 
be depended upon? ' said Pearson. 

'As far as his interest goes, unquestionably,' replied 
the General. 'He has ever been the pump by which I 
have sucked the marrow out of many a plot, in special 
those of the conceited fool Rochecliffe, who is goose 
enough to believe that such a fellow as Tomkins would 
value anything beyond the offer of the best bidder. And 
yet it groweth late — I fear wc must to the lodge with- 
out him. Yet, all things well considered, I will tarry here 
38 241 


till midnight. Ah! Everard, thou mightest put this gear 
to rights if thou wilt! Shall some foolish principle of 
fantastic punctilio have more weight with thee, man, 
than have the pacification and welfare of England, the 
keeping of faith to thy friend and benefactor, and who 
will be yet more so, and the fortune and security of thy 
relations? Are these, I say, hghter in the balance than 
the cause of a worthless boy, who with his father and 
his father's house have troubled Israel for fifty years?' 

'I do not understand your Excellency, nor at what 
service you point, which I can honestly render,' replied 
Everard. 'That which is dishonest I should be loth that 
you proposed.' 

'Then this at least might suit your honesty, or scrupu- 
lous hiunour, call it which thou wilt,' said Cromwell. 
'Thou knowest, surely, all the passages about Jezebel's 
palace down yonder ? Let me know how they may be 
guarded against the escape of any from within.' 

'I cannot pretend to aid you in this matter,' said 
Everard: 'I know not all the entrances and posterns 
about Woodstock, and if I did, I am not free in con- 
science to communicate with you on this occasion.' 

'We shall do without you, sir,' repHed Cromwell, 
haughtily; 'and if aught is found which may criminate 
you, remember you have lost right to my protection.' 

'I shall be sorry,' said Everard, 'to have lost your 
friendship. General ; but I trust my quality as an Eng- 
lishman may dispense with the necessity of protection 
from any man. I know no law which obliges me to be 
spy or informer, even if I were in the way of having 
opportunity to do service in either honourable capacity.' 

'Well, sir,' said Cromwell, 'for all your privileges and 


qualities, I will make bold to take you down to the lodge 
at Woodstock to-night, to inquire into affairs in which 
the state is concerned. Come hither, Pearson.' He took 
a paper from his pocket containing a rough sketch or 
ground-plan of Woodstock Lodge, vdth the avenues 
leading to it. 'Look here,' he said, *we must move in 
two bodies on foot, and with all possible silence; thou 
must march to the rear of the old house of iniquity with 
twenty file of men, and dispose them around it the wisest 
thou canst. Take the reverend man there along with 
you. He must be secured at any rate, and may serve as 
a guide. I myself will occupy the front of the lodge, and 
thus having stopt all the earths, thou wilt come to me 
for further orders; silence and despatch is all. But for 
the dog Tomkins, who broke appointment with me, he 
had need render a good excuse, or woe to his father's son! 
Reverend sir, be pleased to accompany that officer. 
Colonel Everard, you are to follow me; but first give 
your sword to Captain Pearson, and consider yourself 
as under arrest.' 

Everard gave his sword to Pearson without any com- 
ment, and with the most anxious presage of evil followed 
the RepubUcan General, in obedience to commands 
which it would have been useless to dispute. 


'Were my son William here but now, 

He wadna fail the pledge.' 
Wi' that in at the door there ran 

A ghastly-looking page — 
'I saw them, master, O! I saw. 

Beneath the thornie brae, 
Of black-mail'd warriors many a rank.' 

'Revengel' he cried, 'and gael' 

Henry Mackenzie. 

The little party at the lodge were assembled at supper, 
at the early hour of eight o'clock. Sir Henry Lee, neg- 
lecting the food that was placed on the table, stood by 
a lamp on the chimney-piece, and read a letter with 
mournful attention. 

' Does my son write to you more particularly than to 
me, Dr. RochecHff e? ' said the knight. ' He only says here 
that he will return probably this night; and that Master 
Kerneguy must be ready to set off with him instantly. 
What can this haste mean? Have you heard of any new 
search after our suffering party? I wish they would 
permit me to enjoy my son's company in quiet but for 
a day.' 

'The quiet which depends on the wicked ceasing from 
troubling,' said Dr. Rochecliffe, 'is connected, not by 
days and hours, but by minutes. Their glut of blood at 
Worcester had satiated them for a moment, but their 
appetite, I fancy, has revived.' 

'You have news, then, to that purpose?' said Sir 

'Your son,' replied the Doctor, 'wrote to me by the 



same messenger; he seldom fails to do so, being aware of 
what importance it is that I should know everything 
that passes. Means of escape are provided on the coast, 
and Master Kerneguy must be ready to start with your 
son the instant he appears.' 

'It is strange,' said the knight; 'for forty years I have 
dwelt in this house, man and boy, and the point only 
was how to make the day pass over our heads; for if I 
did not scheme out some hunting-match or hawking, 
or the Uke, I might have sat here on my arm-chair, as 
undisturbed as a sleeping dormouse, from one end of the 
year to the other; and now I am more like a hare on her 
form, that dare not sleep unless with her eyes open, and 
scuds off when the wind rustles among the fern.' 

'It is strange,' said Alice, looking at Dr. Rochecliffe, 
'that the Roundhead steward has told you nothing of 
this. He is usually communicative enough of the motions 
of his party; and I saw you close together this morning.' 

*I must be closer with him this evening,' said the 
Doctor gloomily; 'but he will not blab.' 

'I wish you may not trust him too much,' said Alice 
in reply. 'To me, that man's face, with all its shrewd- 
ness, evinces such a dark expression, that methinks I 
read treason in his very eye,' 

'Be assured, that matter is looked to,' answered the 
Doctor, in the same ominous tone as before. No one 
repHed, and there was a chilling and anxious feehng of 
apprehension which seemed to sink down on the com- 
pany at once, like those sensations which make such 
constitutions as are particularly subject to the electrical 
influence conscious of an approaching thunderstorm. 

The disguised monarch, apprised that day to be 



prepared on short notice to quit his temporary asylum, 
felt his own share of the gloom which involved the Httle 
society. But he was the first also to shake it o£f, as what 
neither suited his character nor his situation. Gaiety 
was the leading distinction of the former, and presence 
of mind, not depression of spirits, was required by the 

' We make the hour heavier,' he said, 'by being melan- 
choly about it. Had you not better join me. Mistress 
Alice, in Patrick Carey's jovial farewell ? Ah, you do not 
know Pat Carey, a younger brother of Lord Falkland's? ' ^ 

*A brother of the immortal Lord Falkland's, and 
write songs!' said the Doctor. 

*0h, Doctor, the Muses take tithe as well as the 
church,' said Charles, 'and have their share in every 
family of distinction. You do not know the words, 
Mistress AHce, but you can aid me notwithstanding, in 
the burden at least — 

Come, now that we're parting, and 't is one to ten 
If the towers of sweet Woodstock I e'er see agen, 
Let us e'en have a frolic, and drink like tall men, 
While the goblet goes merrily round.' ^ 

The song arose, but not with spirit. It was one of 
those efforts at forced mirth by which, above all other 
modes of expressing it, the absence of real cheerfulness 
is most distinctly intimated. Charles stopt the song, 
and upbraided the choristers. 

'You sing, my dear Mistress Alice, as if you were 
chanting one of the seven penitential psalms; and you, 
good Doctor, as if you recited the funeral service.' 

^ See Note 6. 

* The original song of Carey bears Wykeham, instead of Woodstock, 
for the locality. The verses are full of the bacchanalian spirit of the time. 



The Doctor rose hastily from the table, and turned 
to the window; for the expression connected singularly 
with the task which he was that evening to discharge. 
Charles looked at him with some surprise; for the peril 
in which he Hved made him watchful of the slightest 
motions of those around him, then turned to Sir Henry, 
and said, * My honoured host, can you tell any reason 
for this moody fit, which has so strangely crept upon us 

'Not I, my dear Louis,' repUed the knight: *I have no 
skill in these nice quillets of philosophy. I could as soon 
undertake to tell you the reason why Bevis turns round 
three times before he Hes down. I can only say for my- 
self, that, if age and sorrow and uncertainty be enough 
to break a jovial spirit, or at least to bend it now and 
then, I have my share of them all; so that I, for one, 
cannot say that I am sad merely because I am not merry. 
I have but too good cause for sadness. I would I saw 
my son, were it but for a minute ! ' 

Fortune seemed for once disposed to gratify the old 
man; for Albert Lee entered at that moment. He was 
dressed in a riding-suit, and appeared to have travelled 
hard. He cast his eye hastily around as he entered. It 
rested for a second on that of the disguised prince, and, 
satisfied with the glance which he received in lieu, he 
hastened, after the fashion of the olden day, to kneel 
down to his father and request his blessing. 

*It is thine, my boy,' said the old man, a tear spring- 
ing to his eyes as he laid his hand on the long locks which 
distinguished the young Cavalier's rank and principles, 
and which, usually combed and curled with some care, 
now hung wild and dishevelled about his shoulders. They 



remained an instant in this posture, when the old man 
suddenly started from it, as if ashamed of the emotion 
which he had expressed before so many witnesses, and 
passing the back of his hand hastily across his eyes, bid 
Albert get up and mind his supper, * since I dare say you 
have ridden fast and far since you last baited. And we '11 
send round a cup to his health, if Dr. RochecKffe and 
the good company pleases. Joceline, thou knave, skink 
about; thou look'st as if thou hadst seen a ghost.' 

' Jocehne,' said AUce, * is sick for sympathy. One of the 
stags ran at Phoebe Mayflower to-day, and she was fain 
to have Joceline's assistance to drive the creature off; 
the girl has been in fits since she came home.' 

'Silly slut,' said the old knight. 'She a woodman's 
daughter! But, Joceline, if the deer gets dangerous, you 
must send a broad arrow through him.' 

*It will not need, Sir Henry,' said Joceline, speaking 
with great difiiculty of utterance; *he is quiet enough 
now, he will not offend in that sort again.' 

'See it be so,' replied the knight; 'remember Mistress 
Alice often walks in the chase. And now fill round, and 
fill, too, a cup to thyself to over-red thy fear, as mad Will 
has it. Tush, man, Phoebe will do well enough: she only 
screamed and ran, that thou mightst have the pleasure 
to help her. Mind what thou dost, and do not go spilling 
the wine after that fashion. Come, here is a health to 
our wanderer, who has come to us again.' 

'None will pledge it more willingly than I,' said the 
disguised prince, unconsciously assuming an importance 
which the character he personated scarce warranted; 
but Sir Henry, who had become fond of the supposed 
page, with all his peculiarities, imposed only a moderate 



rebuke upon his petulance. 'Thou art a merry, good- 
humoured youth, Louis,' he said; 'but it is a world to 
see how the forwardness of the present generation hath 
gone beyond the gravity and reverence which in my 
youth was so regularly observed towards those of higher 
rank and station. I dared no more have given my own 
tongue the rein, when there was a doctor of divinity in 
company, than I would have dared to have spoken in 
church in service- time.' 

'True, sir,' said Albert, hastily interfering; 'but Master 
Kerneguy had the better right to speak at present, that 
I have been absent on his business as well as my own, 
have seen several of his friends, and bring him import- 
ant intelligence.' 

Charles was about to rise and beckon Albert aside, 
naturally impatient to know what news he had procured, 
or what scheme of safe escape was nov/ decreed for him. 
But Dr. Rocheclifife twitched his cloak, as a hint to him 
to sit still, and not show any extraordinary motive for 
anxiety, since, in case of a sudden discovery of his real 
quality, the violence of Sir Henry Lee's feelings might 
have been Hkely to attract too much attention. 

Charles, therefore, only replied, as to the knight's 
stricture, that he had a particular title to be sudden and 
unceremonious in expressing his thanks to Colonel Lee, 
that gratitude was apt to be unmannerly; finally, that 
he was much obliged to Sir Henry for his admonition, 
and that, quit Woodstock when he would, 'he was sure 
to leave it a better man than he came there.' 

His speech was of course ostensibly directed towards 
the father; but a glance at Alice assured her that she had 
her full share in the compliment. 



*I fear,' he concluded, addressing Albert, 'that you 
come to tell us our stay here must be very short.' 

* A few hours only,' said Albert, * just enough for need- 
ful rest for ourselves and our horses. I have procured 
two which are good and tried. But Dr. Rochecliffe broke 
faith with me. I expected to have met some one down 
at Joceline's hut, where I left the horses; and finding no 
person, I was delayed an hour in littering them down 
myself, that they might be ready for to-morrow's work, 
for we must be off before day.' 

*I — I — intended to have sent Tomkins ; but — 
but — ' hesitated the Doctor — 'I — ' 

'The Roundheaded rascal was drunk, or out of the 
way, I presume,' said Albert. 'I am glad of it, you may 
easily trust him too far.' 

'Hitherto he has been faithful,' said the Doctor, 'and 
I scarce think he will fail me now. But Joceline will go 
down and have the horses in readiness in the morn- 

Joceline's countenance was usually that of alacrity 
itself in a case extraordinary. Now, however, he seemed 
to hesitate. 

'You will go with me a little way, Doctor?' he said, 
as he edged himself closely to Rochecliffe. 

'How! puppy, fool, and blockhead,' said the knight, 
'wouldst thou ask Dr. Rochecliffe to bear thee com- 
pany at this hour? Out, hound! get down to the kennel 
yonder instantly, or I will break the knave's pate of 

Joceline looked with an eye of agony at the divine, as 
if entreating him to interfere in his behalf; but just as he 
was about to speak, a most melancholy howUng arose at 



the halldoor, and a dog was heard scratching for admit- 

'What ails Bevis next? ' said the old knight. 'I think 
this must be All Fools Day, and that everything around 
me is going mad ! ' 

The same sound startled Albert and Charles from a 
private conference in which they had engaged, and Albert 
ran to the hall-door to examine personally into the cause 
of the noise. 

*It is no alarm,' said the old knight to Kerneguy, 'for 
in such cases the dog's bark is short, sharp,